David Stark

David Stark

2013 Honorary Doctor

David Stark directs the Centre on Organizational Innovation.

In a clear break from a hierarchic conception of organisations, his work shows the potential for innovation that stems from their heterarchical nature, by allowing the confrontation of individuals holding diverging evaluation principles. 

The result is a profound renewal of how we view organisations - which function in a less routine way than originally thought - and innovation - far from being just one individual's great idea, with the implication that a sense of dissonance arises from the confrontations that are made possible by certain organisations. 

Economic sociology 

It is to this sense of dissonance that Professor Stark dedicated his last publication, The Sense of Dissonance: Accounts of Worth in Economic Life, published by Princeton University Press in 2009. 

This important contribution to economic sociology is accompanied by an analysis in the domain of network sociology: an investigation into the characteristics of overlapping groups, with a view to avoiding an individual-centric approach when ascertaining the links that exist between different closed networks. 

His work has been awarded numerous distinctions. Invited to speak as a visiting professor in several American and European universities, he travelled to Paris several times in the 1980s, during which he worked with Luc Boltanski and Pierre Bourdieu. 

His meetings with these two sociologists helped him establish the analytical basis for a seminal article in Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales.