Catherine J. Turco


Catherine J. Turco

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Catherine J. Turco is the Michael M. Koerner (1949) Professor of Entrepreneurship and an Associate Professor in MIT Sloan's Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management group as well as its program in Economic Sociology.

Turco is an ethnographer and economic sociologist who studies cultural dynamics in organizations, occupations, and markets, with a particular focus on the role of meaning in economic life. 

She is the author of Harvard Square: A Love Story (2023) and The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media (2016). Her research has also appeared in the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review, and has been recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association. It has been covered by The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, CNN, and Fortune.

Prior to entering academia, Turco worked as a technology investment banker and then in the software industry, where she managed a corporate venture fund. She has consulted to a number of organizations on issues of corporate strategy and culture.

Turco received her BA in economics from Harvard College, where in addition to her studies, she was president of Harvard Student Agencies/Let’s Go Inc., a 1,000-person company. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She received her MA and PhD in sociology from Harvard University, where she was a Presidential Scholar.


"Verstehen for Sociology: Comment on Watts."

Turco, Catherine, and Ezra Zuckerman Sivan. American Journal of Sociology Vol. 122, No. 4 (2017): 1272-1291.

"A New Era of Corporate Conversation."

Turco, Catherine. MIT Sloan Management Review, September 12, 2016.

The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media.

Turco, Catherine. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2016.

"So You Think You Can Dance: Lessons from the U.S. Private Equity Bubble."

Turco, Catherine, and Ezra Zuckerman Sivan. Sociological Science Vol. 1, (2014): 81-101.

"Betrayal as Market Barrier: Identity-Based Limits to Diversification among High-Status Corporate Law Firms."

Phillips, Damon, Catherine Turco, and Ezra Zuckerman Sivan. American Journal of Sociology Vol. 118, No. 4 (2013): 1-32.

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Harvard Square: A Love Story

A new book by MIT Sloan professor Catherine Turco explores how street-level markets are a central, and centrally important, social institution in American life.

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New book chronicles the complicated love story of Harvard Square

Using the case of Harvard Square, Catherine J. Turco explores the role of street-level markets in our daily lives, why we fall in love with them, and why we so often struggle with changes in them

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