Lauren Rivera
Lauren Rivera

Associate Professor of Management & Organizations
Associate Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

Print Overview

Lauren Rivera is an expert on selection procedures and has written extensively on hiring and promotion practices in elite professional service firms. Her award-winning book Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs (Princeton University Press, 2015) investigates hiring decisions for top-tier investment banks, consulting firms, and law firms. Her research has been featured in the Atlantic, Economist, Financial Times, Fortune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NPR. In recognition for her work, Professor Rivera received the American Sociological Association's William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. She has been named one of the top 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets & Quants and a rising management star by Thinkers50. She received her B.A. in psychology and sociology from Yale University and her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.

Print Vita
PhD, 2009, Sociology, Harvard University
AM, 2006, Sociology, Harvard University
BA, 2000, Sociology and Psychology, Yale University, Magna cum laude; distinction in both majors

Academic Positions
Associate Professor, Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (on leave AY 15-16), 2013-present
Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2009-2013

Other Professional Experience
Consultant, Monitor Group, 2000-2002

Honors and Awards
Distinguished Article Prize, American Sociological Association, Section on Sex & Gender
Best Book Award, American Sociological Association, Section on Sociology of Law
Outstanding Article Prize, American Sociological Association, Section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility
Max Weber Book Prize, American Sociological Association, Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work
Mary Douglas Book Prize, American Sociological Association, Section on Culture
William Julius Wilson Early Career Award, American Sociological Association, Section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility, 2016
Thinkers50 - Most Influential Management Thinkers,, 2016
Axiom Business Books Silver Medal, Axiom Business Books, 2016
Named one of the world's best business school professors under 40, Poets and Quants, 2015
Best Paper Prize, The Davis Conference on Qualitative Research, 2014
Kellogg Chairs' Core Course Teaching Award, 2013-2014
Granovetter Award for the Best Article in Economic Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2013
Geertz Award for the Best Article in the Sociology of Culture, American Sociological Association, 2013
Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management, 2011

Editorial Positions
Editorial Board, American Journal of Sociology, 2017-2019
Editorial Board, Research in the Sociology of Work, 2017-2020
Editorial Board, Management Science, 2015-2018
Editorial Board, Sociology of Education, 2013-2018

Print Research
Research Interests

Culture, evaluation, decision-making, labor markets, social class, gender, qualitative methods

Rivera, Lauren. 2017. When Two Bodies Are (Not) a Problem: Gender and Relationship Status Discrimination in Academic Hiring. American Sociological Review. 82: 1111-1138.
Rivera, Lauren and Andras Tilcsik. 2016. Class Advantage, Commitment Penalty: The Interplay of Social Class and Gender in an Elite Labor Market. American Sociological Review. 81: 1097-1131.
Rivera, Lauren. 2015. Go with Your Gut: Emotion and Evaluation in Job Interviews. American Journal of Sociology. 120: 1339-89.
Rivera, Lauren. 2012. Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms. American Sociological Review. 77: 999-1022.
Rivera, Lauren. 2012. Diversity Within Reach: Recruitment versus Hiring in Elite Firms. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 639: 70-89.
Rivera, Lauren. 2011. Ivies, Extracurriculars, and Exclusion: Elite Employers' Use of Educational Credentials. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. 29: 71-90.
Rivera, Lauren. 2010. Status Distinctions in Interaction: Social Selection and Exclusion at an Elite Nightclub. Qualitative Sociology. 33: 229-255.
Rivera, Lauren. 2008. Managing 'Spoiled' National Identity: War, Tourism and Memory in Croatia. American Sociological Review. 73: 613-634.
Working Papers
Rivera, Lauren and Jayanti Owens. 2017. Glass Floors and Glass Ceilings: The Effect of Pairing Female Job Applicants with Female Evaluators in Job Interviews.
Rivera, Lauren and Jayanti Owens. 2017. Who Wins the Tournament of Lawyers? Gender, Race, and Performance in Promotions to Partner.
Rivera, Lauren and Andras Tilcsik. 2017. Scaling Down Gender Inequality: Reducing Gender Bias in Performance Evaluations.
Rivera, Lauren and Michele Lamont. 2017. Choosing a Home, Choosing a Class: Symbolic Boundaries and Spatial Inequalities among the American Upper-Middle Class.
Owens, Jayanti and Lauren Rivera. 2017. How Elite College Attendance Shapes Job Satisfaction.
Book Chapters
Rivera, Lauren. 2016. "Breaking Class Ceilings in Corporate Careers: The Case of Elite Hiring." In Qualitative Organizational Research, vol. 3, Volume 3.
Rivera, Lauren. 2015. "Cognition, Face-to-Face Interactions, and Social Class." In Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1-15. New York: Wiley.
Rivera, Lauren. 2013. "Homosocial Reproduction." In Sociology of Work, edited by V. Smith, 377-380. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Rivera, Lauren. 2011. "Social Distinction." In Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture, edited by D. Southerton, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Rivera, Lauren. 2008. "Distinctions: Cultural and Social." In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by W. Darity, 412-414. Farmington Hills, MI: MacMillan/Thompson Gale.
Rivera, Lauren and Andras Tilcsik. "How Subtle Class Cues Can Backfire on Your Resume.." Harvard Business Review, 21 December.
Rivera, Lauren. "Firms Are Wasting Millions Recruiting on Only a Few Campuses." Harvard Business Review, 23 October.
Rivera, Lauren. "Guess Who Doesn't Fit in at Work?." New York Times, 30 May.
Rivera, Lauren. "Were You Judged Fairly at Your Last Job Interview?." Fortune, 15 June.
Rivera, Lauren. 2015. Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

Leadership, diversity, decision-making, personnel practices, qualitative methods 

Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Leadership in Organizations (MORS-430-0)
This course provides students with the social science tools needed to solve organizational problems and influence the actions of individuals, groups and organizations. It prepares managers to understand how to best organize and motivate the human capital of the firm, manage social networks and alliances, and execute strategic change. This is accomplished through knowledge of competitive decision making, reward system design, team building, strategic negotiation, political dynamics, corporate culture and strategic organizational design.

Executive Education
Navigating Workplace Conflict

This program is designed for anyone working in organizations where people problems and personalities challenge productivity. It is ideal for small businesses in which developing a collaborative culture is essential, as well as large organizations with complex reporting relationships. Organizations that are experiencing fundamental change, those that are trying to absorb new acquisitions, family businesses preparing for generational transitions and geographically-challenged teams are perfectly suited for this program.

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