Joseph Porac

Joseph Porac

Joined Stern 2003

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Tisch Hall
40 West Fourth Street, 710
New York, NY 10012


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Joe Porac arrived at Stern in 2003 after serving on the faculty of Emory University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He studies how social and cognitive processes shape organizational and interorganizational action. Some of his research has addressed the question of how markets stabilize around particular definitions of products such as minivans, motorcycles, and knitwear. Other research has addressed the sociopolitical aspects of corporate governance such as how corporate boards justify C.E.O. compensation to shareholders, whether "star" C.E.O.'s are paid differently than their less reputable peers, and what sorts of firms are most likely to incite activist shareholders to file governance resolutions against them. His most recent work concerns how knowledge is distributed and used across organizations, and has addressed this question with a number of colleagues in an NSF sponsored study on scientific alliances ( and in a study on the collective diagnosis of emerging viruses.

Professor Porac has been an active member of the Academy of Management and has served on the Executive Committee of the Academy's Organization and Management Theory (OMT) division. He was the OMT Program Chair for the Academy's annual conference in 1999, and was Chair of the OMT division in 2001. He has edited special issues on managerial and organizational cognition for Organization Science and the Journal of Management Studies, and has organized a number of conferences and workshops on the same topic. He was an Associate Editor of Administrative Science Quarterly and the Journal of Management and Governance. He is also a co-editor for the 2005 issue of Advances in Strategic Management.

At the University of Illinois, Professor Porac spearheaded a joint business-engineering program in technology management, and at Emory he served three years as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research. Part of his duties at Emory was to lead the development of a doctoral program in business and a new modular Executive M.B.A. program. Also at Emory, he won the E.M.B.A. Distinguished Educator Award in 2001.

Research Interests

  • Organizational Theory

Courses Taught

  • Cognition Seminar
  • Leadership in Organizations
  • Strategy I
  • Strategy II

Academic Background

Ph.D., Social Psychology, 1979
University of Rochester

B.S., Anthropology, 1974
University of Pittsburgh

Areas of Expertise


  • Corporate Governance


  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)


  • Corporate Strategy
  • Executive Compensation/Incentives
  • Organizational Behavior