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Faculty & Research

John Van Maanen

  • Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management
  • Professor of Organization Studies
  • E62-322
  • (617) 253-3610
  • (617) 253-2660

John Van Maanen is the Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management and a Professor of Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

He works within the fields of organization behavior and theory. Van Maanen            is an ethnographer of organizations ranging in type from police organizations to educational institutions, as well as a variety of business firms. Cultural descriptions figure prominently in his studies of such diverse work worlds as beat patrolmen on city streets in the United States; police detectives and their guv’nors in London; fishermen in the North Atlantic; MBA students at MIT and Harvard Business School, and park operatives in the Sistine Chapel of Fakery, Disneyland (here and abroad).

In addition, he has worked with numerous public and private organizations in North America, Europe, and Asia, including BP, IBM, BMW, Siemens, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Lafarge, Mars, Warburg Dillon Read, Sabanci University, and the National University of Technology (Singapore). 

Van Maanen has taught at MIT Sloan since 1972. He has served as the faculty chair of the MIT Sloan Fellows Program at MIT and as the head of the Organization Studies Group within the Sloan School. He has been a Visiting Professor at Yale University, University of Surrey in the UK, INSEAD in France, and is an Honorary Fellow at Cambridge University. 

He is the author of numerous books and articles, most recently, Tales of the Field  (University of Chicago Press, 2011, 2nd edition). He and Edgar Schein recently coauthored Career Anchors (Wiley, 2013).  Van Maanen has served on the editorial boards of a variety of journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Human Organizations, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Human Relations, and Studies in Cultures, Organizations, and Societies.

He is a member of the American Sociological Association, the American Anthropological Association, and a fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. 

            Van Maanen holds a BA in political science and sociology from California State University at Long Beach, and an an MS and a PhD in social administration from the University of California, Irvine.

  • "Making Culture Visible: Reflections on Corporate Ethnography." Fayard, Anne-Laure, and John Van Maanen. Journal of Organizational Ethnography Vol. 4, No. 1 (2015): 4-27.
  • "The Present of Things Past: Ethnography and Career Studies." Van Maanen, John. Human Relations Vol. 68, No. 1 (2015): 35-53.
  • Career Anchors. Schein, Edgar H. and John Van Maanen. San Francisco, CA: Wiley, 2013.
  • "Hold the Mayo: Some Comments on the Origins of Organizational Ethnography." Van Maanen, John. Journal of Organizational Ethnography Vol. 2, No. 1 (2013): 105-109.
  • "Good Cops, Bad Cops: Working the Binaries in the NYPD." Van Maanen, John. Contemporary Sociology Vol. 41, No. 3 (2012): 311-313.
  • Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Van Maanen, John. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  • "The Casual Ethnography of the Executive Suite." Westney, D. Eleanor and John Van Maanen. Journal of International Business Studies Vol. 42, No. 5 (2011): 602-607.
  • "The Casual Ethnography of the Executive Suite." Westney, D. Eleanor and John Van Maanen. Journal of International Business Studies Vol. 42, No. 5 (2011): 602-609.
  • "Ethnography as Work: Some Rules of Engagement." Van Maanen, John. Journal of Management Studies Vol. 48, No. 1 (2011): 218-234.
  • "Ethnography as Work: Some rules of Engagement." Van Maanen, John. Journal of Management Studies Vol. 48, No. 1 (2011): 218-234.
  • "A Song For My Supper: More Tales of the Field." Van Maanen, John. Organizational Research Methods Vol. 13, No. 2 (2010): 240-255.
  • "Identity Work and Control in Occupational Communities." Van Maanen, John. In Control in Organizations: New Directions in Theory and Research, edited by Katinka Bijlsman-Frankema, Laura B. Cardinal, Sim B. Sitkin, 111-166. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • "You Gotta Have a Grievance: Locating Heartbreak in Ethnography." Van Maanen, Marc. Journal of Management Inquiry Vol. 19, No. 4 (2010): 328-337.
  • "Organizations and Risk in Late Modernity." Gephart Jr., Robert P., John Van Maanen and Thomas Oberlechner. Organization Studies Vol. 30, No. 11 (2009): 5-20.
  • "Ethnography." Van Maanen, John. In International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies, edited by James R. Bailey, Stewart R. Clegg, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 2007.
  • "Organizational Subcultures." Van Maanen, John. In International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 2007.
  • "The Interplay Between Theory and Method." Van Maanen, John, Jesper Sørenson and Terrance R. Mitchell. Academy of Management Review Vol. 32, No. 4 (2007): 301-314.
  • "Ethnography Then and Now." Van Maanen, John. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management Vol. 1, No. 1 (2006): 13-21.
  • "Rediscovering Japan: Some Thoughts on Change and Continuity in Traditional Japanese Careers." Van Maanen, John. Career Development International Vol. 11, No. 4 (2006): 280-292.
  • "Mickey on the Move: Observations on the Flow of Culture in the Multinational Corporation." Van Maanen, John. In Organizational Theory and the Multinational Corporation – 2nd Edition, edited by Eleanor Westney, 255-300. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press., 2005.
  • Managing for the Future: Organizational Behavior and Processes. Ancona, Deborah L., Thomas A. Kochan, Maureen Scully, John Van Maanen and D. Eleanor Westney. Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Publishing, 2004.
  • "Natives ‘R’ Us: Some Notes on the Ethnography of Organizations." Van Maanen, John. In Inside Organizations: Anthropologists at Work, 233-261. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic, 2001.
  • Information Technology and Organizational Transformation: History, Rhetoric and Practice. Yates, JoAnne and John Van Maanen . Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 2000.
  • The Reflective Spin: Case Studies of Teachers in Higher Education Transforming Action. Chen, Ai-Yen, and John Van Maanen. Singapore: World Scientific, 1999.
  • "Why Now, More Than Ever, Cases Are Important." Van Maanen, John. In The Reflective Spin: Case Studies of Teachers in Higher Education Transforming Action, 97-110. Singapore: World Scientific, 1999.
  • "Changing Scripts at Work: Emotional Labor of Managers and Professionals." Kunda, Gideon and John Van Maanen. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 561, No. 1 (1999): 64-80.
  • "Different Strokes: Qualitative Research in the Administrative Science Quarterly From 1956-1996." Van Maanen, John. In Qualitative Studies of Organizations, edited by John Van Maanen , 8-33. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1998.
  • Qualitative Studies of Organizations (The Administrative Science Quarterly Series in Organization Theory and Behavior). Van Maanen, John. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1998.
  • Managing for the Future: Organizational Behavior and Processes. Ancona, Deborah G., Thomas A. Kochan, Maureen Scully, John Van Maanen and D. Eleanor Westney. Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Publishing, 1998.
  • "Editors' introduction to Special Issue on Information Technology and Organizational Transformation." Yates, JoAnne, and John Van Maanen. Information Systems Research Vol. 7, No. 1 (1996): 1-4.
  • "Ethnography." Van Maanen, John. In The Social Science Encyclopedia, 263-266. London, England: Routledge, 1996.
  • "On the Matter of Voice." Van Maanen, John. Journal of Management Inquiry Vol. 5, No. 4 (1996): 375-381.
  • "Sections on Symbolism and Metaphor." Van Maanen, John. In The Blackwell Encyclopedic Dictionary of Organizational Behavior, edited by Nigel Nicholson, 326-327. Somerset, NJ: Blackwell, 1995.
  • "Trade Secrets." Van Maanen, John. In Postmodern Representations: Truth, Power, and Mimesis in the Human Sciences and Public Culture, edited by Richard Harvey Brown , 118-138. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1995.
  • "The End of Innocence." Van Maanen, John. In Representation in Ethnography, edited by John Van Maanen , 1-36. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1995.
  • "Fear and Loathing in Organization Studies." Van Maanen, John. Organization Science Vol. 6, No. 6 (1995): 687-692.
  • Representation in Ethnography. Van Maanen, John. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1995.
  • "Style As Theory." Van Maanen, John. Organization Science Vol. 6, No. 1 (1995): 132-144.
  • "Cops and Auditors: The Rhetoric of Records." Van Maanen, John and Brian T. Pentland. In The Legalistic Organization, edited by Robert Bies, Sim Sitkin, 53-90. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1994.
  • "Ethnography Versus Critical Theory: Debating Organizational Research.." Putnam, Linda L., Charles Bantz, Stanley Deetz, Dennis Mumby and John Van Maanen. Journal of Management Inquiry Vol. 2, No. 3 (1993): 214-238.
  • "The Flow of Culture: Some Notes on Globalization and the Multinational Corporation." Van Maanen, John and André Laurent. In Organizational Theory and the Multinational Corporation, edited by D.E. Westney, S. Ghoshal, 275-312. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1993.
  • "Displacing Disney: Some Notes on the Flow of Culture." Van Maanen, John. Qualitative Sociology Vol. 15, No. 1 (1992): 5-36.
  • "The Smile Factory: Work at Disneyland." Van Maanen, John. In Reframing Organizational Culture, edited by Craig C. Lundberg, Joanne Martin, Larry F. Moore, Meryl Reis Louis, Peter J. Frost, 58-76. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1991.
  • "Disney Worlds: Culture on the Move." Van Maanen, John. Hallinnon Tutkimus Vol. 3, (1991): 227-238.
  • "Drinking Our Troubles Away: Managing Conflict in a British Police Agency." Van Maanen, John. In Hidden Conflict in Organizations, edited by D. Kolb, J.M. Bartunek, 78-99. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1991.
  • "Twisted tales: Norms and forms of social science writing." John Van Maanen. In Proceedings of Acfax France pour l'advancement des sciences, Ecrier la rescherche, Colloque du l'association pour rescherche qualitative, Quebec. Canada: May 1990.
  • "Escape From Modernity: On the Repair of Ethnography and the Ethnography of Repair." Van Maanen, John. Human Studies Vol. 13, No. 1 (1990): 275-284.
  • "Great Moments in Ethnography." Van Maanen, John. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography Vol. 19, (1990): 3-9.
  • "Playing Back the Tape: Early Days in the Field." Van Maanen, John. In Experiencing Fieldwork: An Inside View of Qualitative Research, edited by R.A. Stebbins, W.B. Shaffir, 31-42. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990.
  • "Some Notes on the Importance of Writing in Organization Studies." Van Maanen, John. In The Information System Research Challenge: Qualitative Research Methods, edited by J.I. Cash, P.R. Lawrence, 27-35. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1990.
  • "Real Feelings: Emotional Expressions and Organization Culture." Van Maanen, John and Gideon Kunda. In Research in Organizational Behavior, edited by B. Staw, L.L. Cummings, 43-102. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1989.
  • Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Van Maanen, John. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1988.
  • "Managing education better: Some thoughts on the management of student cultures in American colleges and universities." John Van Maanen. In 27th Annual Meetings of the Association for Institutional Research, Tallahassee, FL: May 1987.
  • "Power in the Bottle: Drinking Patterns and Social Relations in a British Police Agency." Van Maanen, John. In Executive Power, edited by S. Srivasta, 204-239. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1986.
  • "Where Policy Studies Go Wrong: Reflections on the Meaning and Use of Collective Bargaining Procedures in the Public Sector." Kolb, Deborah and John Van Maanen. Administration and Society Vol. 17, No. 2 (1985): 197-216.
  • "Cultural Organization: Fragments of a Theory." Van Maanen, John, and Stephen R. Barley. In Organization Culture, edited by L. Moore, M. Louis, P. Frost, 31-53. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1985.
  • "Disquisition." Van Maanen, John. Journal of Management Vol. 21, No. 3 (1985): 138-140.
  • "The Professional Apprentice: Observations on Fieldwork Roles in Two Organizational Settings." Van Maanen, John and Deborah Kolb. In Perspectives in Organizational Sociology, edited by S.B. Bacharach, 1-33. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1985.
  • "Making Rank: Becoming an American Police Sergeant." Van Maanen, John. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography Vol. 13, No. 2-3 (1984): 155-176.
  • "Occupational Communities: Culture and Control in Work Organizations." Van Maanen, John and Stephen R. Barley. In Research in Organizational Behavior, edited by B. Staw, L.L. Cummings, 287-365. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1984.
  • "Doing New Things in Old Ways: Chains of Socialization." Van Maanen, John. In Education and Organization Theory, edited by J. Bess, 211-246. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1984.
  • Qualitative Methodology. Van Maanen, John . Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1983.
  • "Qualitative Methods Reclaimed." Van Maanen, John. In Qualitative Methods, edited by John Van Maanen , 247-268. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1983.
  • "The Boss: The American Police Sergeant." Van Maanen, John. In Control in the Police Organization, edited by M. Punch, 275-317. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983.
  • "Golden Passports: Managerial Socialization and Graduate Education." Van Maanen, John. The Review of Higher Education Vol. 6, No. 4 (1983): 435-455.
  • "Individuals, Groups, and Technological Innovation." Band, Michael J. and John Van Maanen. Chemtech Vol. 13, (1983): 528-533.
  • "The Emergence of Modern Fishing in the United States." Miller, Marc and John Van Maanen. Coastal Zone Management Journal Vol. 10, No. 4 (1983): 369-386.
  • "The Moral Fix." Van Maanen, John. In Contemporary Field Research, edited by R. Emerson, 269-287. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co., 1983.
  • "An Occupation in Transition: Traditional and Modern Forms of Commercial Fishing." Van Maanen, John, Marc L. Miller, and Jeffrey C. Johnson. Sociology of Work and Occupations Vol. 9, No. 2 (1982): 193-216.
  • "Getting Into fishing: Social Identities of New England Fisherman." Miller, Marc L. and John Van Maanen. The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography Vol. 11, No. 1 (1982): 27-54.
  • "On the Ethics of Fieldwork." Van Maanen, John. In Social Science Methods, Vol. 1: Qualitative Social Research, 115-139. New York, NY: Ballinger, 1982.
  • "Fieldwork on the Beat." Van Maanen, John. In Varieties of Qualitative Research, edited by John Van Maanen , 103-115. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1982.
  • Varieties of Qualitative Research. Van Maanen, John, James M. Dabbs Jr. and Robert R. Faulkner. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1982.
  • "Boundary Crossings: Major Strategies of Organizational Socialization." Van Maanen, John. In Career Issues in Human Resource Management, edited by R. Katz, 85-115. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1982.
  • "Notes on The Production of Ethnographic Data in an American Policy Agency." Van Maanen, John. In Law and Social Enquiry, edited by R. Luckham, 189-230. New York, NY: International Center for Law in Development, 1981.
  • "The Informant Game: Selected Aspects of Ethnographic Research." Van Maanen, John. The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography Vol. 9, No. 4 (1981): 469-494.
  • "Career Games: Organizational Rules of Play." Van Maanen, John. In Work, Family and the Career: New Frontiers in Theory and Research, edited by C.B. Derr, 111-143. New York, NY: Praeger, 1980.
  • "Beyond Account: The Personal Impact of Police Shootings." Van Maanen, John. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 451, No. 3 (1980): 145-156.
  • "Police Perceptions of Their Work Environment: An Exploratory Study of Organizational Space and Time." Van Maanen, John and Ralph Katz. Sociology of Work and Occupations Vol. 6, No. 1 (1979): 82-101.
  • Essays in Interpersonal Dynamics. Bennis, Warren, John Van Maanen, Edgar H. Schein and Fred S. Steele. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press, 1979.
  • "Reclaiming Qualitative Methods for Organizational Research." Van Maanen, John. Administrative Science Quarterly Vol. 24, No. 4 (1979): 520-529.
  • "The Fact of Fiction in Organizational Ethnography." Van Maanen, John. Administrative Science Quarterly Vol. 24, No. 4 (1979): 539-550.
  • "The Self, the Situation, and the Rules of Interpersonal Relations." Van Maanen, John. In Essays in Interpersonal Dynamics, 43-101. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press, 1979.
  • "Toward a Theory of Organizational Socialization." Van Maanen, John and Edgar H. Schein. In Research in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 1, edited by B. Staw, 209-269. Grennwich, CT: JAI Press, 1979.
  • "Understanding Interpersonal Relations." Van Maanen, John. In Essays in Interpersonal Dynamics, edited by W. Bennis , 13-42. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press, 1979.
  • "Boats Don’t Fish, People Do: Some Ethnographic Notes on the Federal Management of Fisheries in New England." Miller, Marc L., and John Van Maanen. Human Organization Vol. 38, No. 4 (1979): 377-385.
  • "People Processing: Strategies of Organizational Socialization." Van Maanen, John. Organizational Dynamics Vol. 7, No. 1 (1978): 18-36.
  • "Kinsmen in Repose." Van Maanen, John. In Policing: A View from the Streets, 115-128. New York, NY: Random House, 1978.
  • "On Watching the Watchers." Van Maanen, John. In Policing: A View from the Streets, 309-350. New York, NY: Random House, 1978.
  • Policing: A View from the Street. Manning, Peter K. and John Van Maanen . New York, NY: Random House, 1978.
  • "The Asshole." Van Maanen, John. In Policing: A View from the Streets, 221-238. New York, NY: Random House, 1978.
  • "The Loci of Work Satisfaction: Job, Interaction, and Policy." Katz, Ralph and John Van Maanen. Human Relations Vol. 30, No. 3 (1977): 469-486.
  • "Experiencing Organizations: Notes on the Meaning of Careers and Socialization." Van Maanen, John. In Organizational Careers: Some New Perspectives, edited by John Van Maanen , 15-45. New York, NY: Wiley, 1977.
  • Organizational Careers: Some New Perspectives. Van Maanen, John . New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1977.
  • "Career Development." Van Maanen, John and Edgar H. Schein. In Improving Life at Work, edited by J.L. Suttle, J.R. Hackman, 30-95. Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear Publishing, 1977.
  • "The Shape of Things to Come: A New Look at Organizational Careers." Van Maanen, John, Edgar H. Schein and Lotte Bailyn. In Perspectives on Behavior in Organizations, edited by E.E. Lawler, J.R. Hackman, L.W. Porter, 153-162. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 1977.
  • "Toward a Theory of the Career." Van Maanen, John . In Organizational Careers: Some New Perspectives, edited by John Van Maanen , 161-179. New York, NY: Wiley, 1977.
  • "Breaking-in: Socialization to Work." Van Maanen, John. In Handbook of Work, Organization, and Society, edited by R. Dubin, 67-130. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally, 1976.
  • "Individuals and Their Careers." Van Maanen, John and Ralph Katz. Personnel Psychology Vol. 29, No. 4 (1976): 601-616.
  • "Rookie Cops and Rookie Managers." Van Maanen, John. The Wharton Quarterly Vol. 1, No. 1 (1976): 49-55.
  • "Police Socialization: A Longitudinal Examination of Job Attitudes in an Urban Police Department." Van Maanen, John. Administrative Science Quarterly Vol. 20, No. 3 (1975): 207-228.
  • Work in the Public Sector. Van Maanen, John, Ralph Katz, and Peter Gregg. Washington, DC: National Training and Development Service Press, 1974.
  • "Work in the Public Sector (Report to the Economic Development Administration)." John Van Maanen, Ralph Katz and Peter Gregg.
  • "Working the Street: A Developmental View of Police Behavior." Van Maanen, John. In The Potential for Reform of Criminal Justice, edited by H. Jacob, 83-130. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1974.
  • "Observations on the Making of Policemen." Van Maanen, John. Human Organization Vol. 32, No. 4 (1973): 407-418.
  • The Process of Program Evaluation. Van Maanen, John. Washington, DC: National Training and Development Service Press, 1973.
  • "The Process of Program Evaluation." John Van Maanen.
  • "The Realities of Education as a Prescription for Organizational Change." Gregg, Roy and John Van Maanen. Public Administration Review Vol. 33, No. 6 (1973): 522-533.
  • "Task Accomplishment and the Management of Time." Porter, Lyman W. and John Van Maanen. In Managing for Accomplishment, 180-192. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath and Co., 1971.