Jason Owen-Smith

Jason D Owen-Smith

Professor of Sociology, Professor of Organizational Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Associate Vice President for Research - Institutional Capabilities and Research Intelligence, Office of the Vice President for Research, Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research and Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy


Jason Owen-Smith is a sociologist who examines how science, commerce, and the law cohere and conflict in contemporary societies and economies. Together with collaborators, Jason works on projects that examine the dynamics of high-technology industries, the public value of the research university, and the network organization of surgical care. He seeks to understand how organizations, institutions, and networks can maintain the status quo while generating novelty through social transformations, scientific discoveries, and technological breakthroughs. Jason’s work makes use of large-scale administrative data to study fundamental process of network change and their effects in policy relevant domains.

Professor Owen-Smith is Executive Director of the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) and Director of the Barger Leadership Institute at the University of Michigan where he also holds the Barger Leadership Institute Professorship in Organizational Studies. He is Professor of Sociology and (by courtesy) Public Policy. In the Institute for Social Research (ISR) he is a Research Professor in the Survey Research Center where he directs a program called Innovation Networks and Knowledge (INK) that houses IRIS and an ongoing research project about physician networks and surgical care outcomes. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology at the University of Arizona and a B.A. in Sociology and Philosophy from the New College of Florida.

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