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Thomas D. Beamish

Thomas D. Beamish

Associate Professor

2271 SS&H

Office Hours for :

  • M 2:00-4:00 PM


  1. Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Environment, Hazards, Risks
  • Organizations, Institutions, and Economy
  • Social and Community Movements
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies

Research Statement

Dr. Beamish has studied social and organizational response to environmental change and disaster; how and why community movements mobilize and respond as they do to risk management efforts and “risky” developments; and economic, organizational, and innovation processes in commercial and industrial contexts. What ties these varied projects together is his practical and theoretical fascination with the intersection of institutions, social organization, and interpretive work. Across all of these, Dr. Beamish’s focus has been the collective bases for “local rationality;” how participation of different kinds—in the places people live, in the formal and informal groups and organizations that people belong to, and in the social categories and identities people are given or that they self-identify with—influences and at times even structure expectations, interpretations, and therefore preferences. Attention to issues and aspects of participation and membership, Dr. Beamish has found, provides insights into the actions and inactions of many kinds of associations from small groups and communities to economic networks and formal organizations with implications for understanding important outcomes from innovation to response to environmental change.

Selected Publications

  • “The Role of Social Heuristics in Project Centered Production Networks: Insights from the Commercial Construction Industry.” (w/ Nicole W. Biggart) Engineering Project Organization Journal. (2011) Vol. 1, Issue 4.
  • "Mesoeconomics: Business Cycles, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Crisis in Commercial Building Markets." (W/ Nicole W. Biggart) in Markets on Trial: The Economic Sociology of the U.S. Financial Crisis. Research in Sociology of Organizations, Edited by Michael Lounsbury and Paul Hirsch. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing. (Forthcoming 2010)
  • Alliance-Building Across Social Movements: Bridging Difference in a Peace and Justice Coalition.” (w/ Amy Luebbers) Social Problems. (forthcoming) November, Volume 56, Number 4.
Upcoming Events
Faculty Meeting Apr 18, 2014 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM — Boardroom
Colloquium: David Harding - Effects of Incarceration on Employment and Recidivism: Evidence from a Natural Experiment Apr 25, 2014 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM — Andrews Conference Room
PI Workshop - Tim Gutierrez Apr 25, 2014 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM — Boardroom
Upcoming events…