Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Morningside Campus Access Updates

Access to the Morningside campus is restricted. Read More.
Close alert

Josh Whitford

Faculty Affiliate; Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Arts and Sciences

Josh Whitford’s interests include economic and organizational sociology, comparative political economy, economic geography, and pragmatist social theory. His research focuses on the social, political and institutional implications of productive decentralization (outsourcing) in manufacturing industries in both the United States and Europe. He is especially interested in the causes and consequences of, but also fixes for, a series of “network failures” that he has shown to be endemic to decentralized production regimes. Whitford joined the Columbia Sociology faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2004 after a year at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and is also a faculty affiliate at the Center on Organizational Innovation. In February 2007, he was named an Industry Studies Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Whitford is the author of The New Old Economy: Networks, Institutions and the Organizational Transformation of American Manufacturing(Oxford University Press 2005) and has written numerous articles. He is currently working on a book on the general theory of the network failure (with Andrew Schrank), a book on Fiat Auto’s merger with Chrysler (with Francesco Zirpoli and Markus Becker), and a project exploring affinities between pragmatist and neo-Polanyian approaches to the study of economic activity.



  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A.,, University of Wisconsin-Madison