Joyce Rothschild

Prof. Joyce Rothschild is Professor Emerita in Sociology and the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.  She wrote the seminal paper in sociology, appearing in American Sociological Review in 1979, defining and characterizing the collectivist-democratic organization.  Her book (with J. Allen Whitt), The Cooperative Workplace: Potentials and Dilemmas of Organizational Democracy and Participation (Cambridge University Press), won the 1987 C. Wright Mills book award. In it, she proposes and develops a post-Weberian model of organization, the collectivist-democratic organization, that arises from a fourth and new principle of legitimacy that she argues is emergent in a knowledge-based economy and society. Grounded in fieldwork in collectives and cooperatives, she describes why these organizations reject bureaucratic practices, what sorts of practices they create to replace hierarchical forms, and proposes nine specific conditions that allow such enterprises to thrive.  Prof. Rothschild has since authored a large body of work on cooperatives; her other line of research has examined managerial retaliation against whistleblowing.  In 2016, she guest edited the “Democracy 2.0” special issue about contemporary collectivist organizations for The Sociological Quarterly, volume 57, issue 1.