Roberto Fernandez

William F. Pounds Professor in Management / Professor of Organization Studies


Roberto Fernandez Roberto M. Fernandez is an organizational sociologist who currently serves as the head of MIT Sloan’s Behavioral and Policy Sciences area, and as co-director of its Ph.D. program in Economic Sociology. His executive teaching duties include the management of innovation, change, and human resources; negotiations; networks; and power and politics in organizations. In addition, Fernandez is the chief professor in charge of MIT Sloan’s required MBA course on Organizational Processes. He has traveled extensively, lecturing in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Iceland, Singapore, and South Africa.

Fernandez has extensive experience doing field research in organizations, including an exhaustive five-year case study of a plant retooling and relocation. He is continuing his research on networks and hiring by studying financial services, market research, manufacturing, and retail sales jobs. His current research focuses on the organizational processes surrounding the hiring of new talent using data collected in 14 organizations.

Before joining MIT in 2000, Fernandez was a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business from 1994 to 2000, serving as the area coordinator in charge of the school’s organizational behavior faculty. Prior to Stanford, he was associate professor of sociology and urban affairs at Northwestern University from 1989 to 1994. His first academic job was as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Arizona from 1984 to 1989.

Fernandez is the author of over 40 articles and research papers published in the top academic journals in his field. A noted expert in organizational sociology, he is the recipient of numerous academic honors and awards.

He holds a BA in sociology magna cum laude from Harvard University, and both an MA and a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Faculty Media

  • Wage Disparity: Is There a Solution?

    Women suffer from wage inequality due to in-built biases at the time of hiring, which means they start out at a lower salary than men.

  • What's the Value of Social Capital? A Within-Person Job Attributes, Offer and Choice Test

    Whether and how social capital derived through social ties creates value has animated substantial research in management, sociology, economics, and political science. Scholars are now generally...

  • High Tech's Shifting Glass Ceiling

    In his paper, "Gender Sorting and the Glass Ceiling in High Tech," Roberto Fernandez, Professor of Organizational Studies at MIT Sloan, challenges the popular assumption that the prominent glass...

  • Gender, Trial Employment, and Initial Salaries

    Gender disparities in wages among professionals exist because women begin their professional careers making less than men. However, as predicted, the female wage discount dissipates when offers are...


Contact Information

Office: E62-387
Phone: 617-253-7256
Fax: 617-253-2660
Support Staff
Name: Natalia Resiak
Phone: (617) 253-2650