iMahal Interview Series:
Joanne Martin
May 4, 2001

Joanne Martin iMahal:  Our readers would be very interested in learning about your academic path in life. Could you describe your undergraduate and graduate education?
Joanne:  I studied studio art at Smith College, with a minor in psychology. That psychology minor enabled me to find a job after graduation at a psychology-oriented consulting firm: McBer and Company. After five years of consulting, I went to Harvard University to earn a Ph.D. in social psychology, with a minor in sociological statistics.
iMahal:  Was becoming a teacher at Stanford ever a goal for you? Do you think it is an important goal to the other people hired to teach at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)?
Joanne:  My goal was to become a professor at a fine research-oriented university. I chose Stanford because its business school values research highly and its faculty teaches a curriculum that is based on solid research findings. As for whether it is important that a teacher set a goal of teaching at Stanford, I would say no. Some years, in some fields, we have no faculty positions open. So, it is more practical for a faculty member or young scholar to aim for one of the very best universities, and hope that Stanford has a job in your field in the year or years you are seeking a job.
   ... I chose Stanford because its business school values research highly ...
Lately, however, we have been hiring in all fields, so this is a good time for PhDs to apply for faculty positions here. Those people interested should write to the Faculty Recruiting Office, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA 94305. There is also some information about faculty openings at the GSB website (GSB Recruiting). And if you are thinking of becoming a professor, why not apply to one of our PhD programs? Specialities include: Accounting, Finance, Economics, Operations and Information Technology, Marketing, Political Economics, and Organizational Behavior. For more information, write to The Doctoral Program, at the same address as given above. A webpage for PhD applicants is also available (PhD Program). I think our PhD programs are arguably the best, but I am no doubt biased.
iMahal:  At Stanford, we understand you research organizational culture as well as women and minority managers. Could you give us a brief description of "organizational culture"?
Joanne:  Organizational culture is a way to describe the working environment that an organization provides its employees. In addition to the usual study of organizational policies, structures, and informal practices, cultural researchers examine the stories employees tell, the rituals that are part of organizational life, and the ways physical arrangements like interior layouts of office space affect behavior, morale, productivity, and even profitability. We study how subcultures within a firm (like the difference between marketing and engineering staff) affect what goes on. And we examine ambiguities that characterize organizational life, making it both easier and more difficult for employees to understand each other and work together well. What kind of culture a company has often affects its ability to attract and retain the kinds of employees it prefers.




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