Forrest Briscoe

Associate Professor of Management & Sociology
Department: Management and Organization
Office: 450 Business Building
Phone: 814-865-0746
Fax: 814-863-7261


Professor Forrest Briscoe received his PhD in Management from The MIT Sloan School of Management and his BA from Harvard University.  He currently serves on editorial boards for Academy of Management Journal and Administrative Science Quarterly, and as an Associate Editor for Academy of Management Annals. Briscoe has published his research in those journals, as well as in American Sociological Review, Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Organization Science and elsewhere.  He also serves as Representative-at-Large for the Organization and Management Theory division of the Academy of Management. Briscoe has received several awards for his research, including the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Industry Studies Fellowship (2010-2012).  Prior to academia, Professor Briscoe worked as a consultant for John Snow Inc. in Boston.

Current Research

Professor Briscoe conducts research in the area of Organization Theory. Much of his work is concerned with how organizations change and new practices spread across organizational fields. In recent projects, Briscoe has examined several rapid changes in employment practices among large US corporations--including new work-family benefits, new same-sex partner benefits, and dramatic cuts to retiree benefits. Through this research, Briscoe and his colleagues are documenting the social and political mechanisms through which organizations are influenced to break from the status quo and participate in change.

A related stream of Briscoe’s research considers the consequences of new organizational practices for professional workers, including consequences for their careers, incomes, mobility, collaborations, and personal flexibility. Briscoe has studied the effects of a range of new organizational practices, including an increasing use of independent contractors rather than regular employees, and the availablility of flexible-work programs for employees. With his coauthors, he recently completed a review of what we know about how employment practices have changed, and the effects of those changes on inequality.

Another theme in Briscoe's research is a focus on professional organizations, such as corporate law firms, medical organizations, and engineering/IT firms. One recent paper, with coauthor Wenpin Tsai, considers the recent explosion of mergers and acquisitions among law firms. Using detailed quantitative data, they show which lawyers are more likely to contribute to the integration of the newly joined firms through client referrals, as well as the intended and unintended consequences for the merged firm's revenues and human capital development.


Institutional change
Professional organizations and careers
Organizational employment practices

Publication List

Bidwell, M., F. Briscoe, I. Fernandez-Mateo and A. Sterling, "Changing Employment Relationships and Inequality: Causes and Consequences", Academy of Management Annals, 2013, 7, 61-121.

F. Briscoe, M. K. Chin and D. Hambrick, "CEO Ideology as an Element of the Corporate Opportunity Structure for Social Activists", Academy of Management Journal, , forthcoming.

F. Briscoe and C. Murphy, "Sleight of Hand? Practice Opacity, Third-Party Responses, and the Interorganizational Diffusion of Controversial Practices", Administrative Science Quarterly, Winter 2012, 57, 553-584.

F. Briscoe and W. Tsai, "Overcoming Relational Inertia: How Organizational Members Respond to Acquisition Events", Administrative Science Quarterly, Winter 2011, 56, 408-440.

F. Briscoe and K. Kellogg, "The Initial Assignment Effect: Local Employer Practices and Positive Career Outcomes for Work-Family Program Usere", American Sociological Review, Spring 2011, 76, 291-319.

F. Briscoe, S. Sawyer and M. Wardell, "Membership and its Privileges? Independent Contracting and Workers' Flexibility to Set Work Hours and Work from Home", Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Summer 2011, 64, 258-282.

M. Bidwell and F. Briscoe, "The Dynamics of Inter-organizational Careers", Organization Science, May 2010, 21, 1034-1053.

M. Bidwell and F. Briscoe, "Who Contracts? Determinants of the Decision to Work as an Independent Contractor among IT Workers", Academy of Management Journal, June 2009, 52, 1147-1168.

F. Briscoe and S. Safford, "The Nixon in China Effect: Activism, Imitation, and the Institutionalization of Contentious Practices", Administrative Science Quarterly, Fall 2008, 53, 460-491.

F. Briscoe, "From Iron Cage to Iron Shield? How Bureaucracy Enables Temporal Flexibility for Professionals", Organization Science, June 2007, 18, 297-314.

F. Briscoe, "Temporal Flexibility and Careers: The Role of Large-Scale Organizations", Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Spring 2006, 60, 67-83.

F. Briscoe, J. Maxwell and P. Temin, "H.R. Versus Finance: Who Controls Corporate Health Care and Does it Matter?", Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations, 2005, 14, 1-32.


Ph.D., Management, MIT Sloan,  2003 

BA, Environmental Sciences, Harvard,  1995 


MGMT 326, Organizational Behavior and Design

MGMT 538, Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Theory

ENTR 597A, Creating Value Through Social Entrepreneurship

BA 504, The Responsibilities of Business Leaders