Research Lecture: Ron Burt

Friday, May 19, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm


Open to the Public


Phelps 1410


Ron Burt, Hobart W. Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

More information on the talk as the date approaches...

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Title: Chinese Entrepreneurs, Social Networks, and guanxi

Abstract: Intending to clear space for rigorous integrative research bridging theory and research across East and West, we highlight four conclusions from exceptional data on the networks around Chinese entrepreneurs: (1) The broker networks associated with business success in the West are also associated with success in China.  (2) The trust correlates of closed networks in the West are similarly correlates in China.  (3) History and trust proven in events emerge as especially important to the Chinese entrepreneurs.  (4) High-quality network data on Chinese business leaders are a practical reality.  We use the results to define a network perspective on guanxi ties that can be common ground for integrating results across East and West, and guide future research on the role networks play in Chinese business. 

Speaker's Biography: Professor Burt’s work describes social networks creating advantage. Applications focus on personal networks and the network structure of markets. In addition to computer software and articles in research journals, Professor Burt’s last three books are the one that proposed the concept of structural holes, Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition (1992, Harvard University Press), a broad review of links between network structure and performance, Brokerage and Closure: An Introduction to Social Capital (2005, Oxford University Press), and argument and evidence on the substantial extent to which network advantage depends on the person at the center of the network, Neighbor Networks: Competitive Advantage Local and Personal (2010, Oxford University Press, which received the 2011Academy of Management George R. Terry Book Award for the work that most advanced management knowledge in the last two years). Research and teaching materials can be downloaded at Professor Burt’s college work at Johns Hopkins University included pre-medical training, physiological psychology, and behavioral science. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in sociology, then was on the faculty at the University of California Berkeley, SUNY Albany, and Columbia University before returning to join the University of Chicago faculty in 1993. In 1999, he began a leave of absence to learn more about European business as the Shell Professor of Human Resources at INSEAD. In 2000, he began a leave of absence to learn more about practical implementation as the Vice President of Strategic Learning in Raytheon Company. He continues today at the University of Chicago.


The Technology Management Program Dean’s Research Lecture Series is the premier event that brings accomplished and inspiring professors to campus to explore topics related to the field of technology management and organizations. The lecture series provide a forum for the academic community to learn from and engage in conversations with outstanding scholars on cutting-edge research findings.

Each quarter will feature several preeminent speakers. Lectures will last approximately one hour starting at 12:00pm and take place in the TMP Executive Learning Center, Phelps Hall 1410. Lunch is provided for all guests who RSVP.

Attendees are required to register prior to the event for lunch and space reservation. For more information, contact Amanda Higham via email or by phone at 805-893-7577. 


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Kinko's Founder, Business Leader, Visionary, Philanthropist

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