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

  • Want to Improve Diversity? Look to Networks

    Industry-leading tech companies recruit heavily from the most selective colleges and universities in the U.S., so is it any wonder that their employees lack diversity?

  • Business-school Alumni: It’s Not Who You Know

    How important is the alumni network? On one hand, very. It provides evidence that those who complete a school’s MBA programme can find a profitable job in the real world. However, this is not...

  • Alumni Network Found to Influence MBA Job Search Strongly

    The value of a business school’s alumni network, in the eyes of its current students, has a strong bearing on their post-MBA job choices, according to new research from professors at NYU Stern and...

  • Are Women Opting Out Of Management Before They Get Hired?

    New research suggests that recruiters are actually broadening the talent pool to include more women, but that women are self-selecting out.

  • A Cheap Way of Hiring MBA Graduates

    New research suggests that an alumni link can sweeten a low offer.

  • Why Diversity Never Comes to Some Workplaces

    Using mathematical modelling, the researchers challenge a long-held belief that the referral method serves to preserve and, often, worsen job segregation.

  • 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

Teaches In

Creating High Velocity Organizations Oct 16-17, 2017 | Mar 20-21, 2018 | Jul 10-11, 2018 | Sep 27-28, 2018

Advanced Management Program May 29-Jun 29, 2018

Implementing Enterprise-Wide Transformation Oct 16-17, 2017 | Mar 27-28, 2018 | Jun 19-20, 2018 | Nov 6-7, 2018