Jerry Davis

Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration

Professor of Sociology

On sabbatical at Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences 2020-21

Jerry Davis received his PhD from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and taught at Northwestern and Columbia before moving to the University of Michigan, where he is the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Sociology. He is a fellow of the Academy of Management, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, International Corporate Governance Society, Michigan Society of Fellows, and Society for Progress. He served as editor-in-chief (2011-2016) and associate editor (2008-2011) of Administrative Science Quarterly, director of ICOS (2006-2018), chair of Organization and Management Theory, co-founder and executive board member of Responsible Research in Business and Management (2015-present), co-founder of COSI (2010-present), department chair for Management & Organizations (2002-2005), and inaugural Associate Dean for Business+Impact (2017-2020), among many other administrative roles. He has served on 75 completed dissertation committees and chaired 21.

Davis has published widely in management, sociology, and finance, including five books and dozens of articles. Books include Social Movements and Organization Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2005); Organizations and Organizing (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007); Managed by the Markets: How Finance Reshaped America (Oxford University Press, 2009); Changing your Company from the Inside Out: A Guide for Social Intrapreneurs (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015); and The Vanishing American Corporation (Berrett Koehler, 2016).


Davis’s research is broadly concerned with the corporation as a social and economic vehicle. Recent writings examine why corporations have so little insight into their global supply chains and the moral dilemmas this poses; why the social network of corporate elites has fallen apart; what organizational alternative exist to the shareholder-owned corporation; how national institutions shape corporate structures, and what this means for income inequality; how platform capitalism might be tamed to meet human needs other than profit; how management research might help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; how new technologies have enabled worker political activism within the corporation; how social scientists can inform public opinion; and how information and communication technologies have enabled entirely new designs for economic organization. His current book project examines corporate power in the 21st century, and how to tame it.