James A. Evans


(773) 834-3612

James Evans examines the influence of markets on science and work. In science, Evans’ central project explores how collaborations with industry influence academic research in an area of molecular plant biology (all research using the popular model organism Arabidopsis thaliana) by analyzing social and funding networks, scientific texts, bio-informatic databases, and interviews. Evans is also involved in a related project (with Woody Powell) which compares how different industries and their markets differentially shape the sciences they commercialize. In his work, Evans’ current project examines the influence of IT contract labor markets on the experience of time, the relationship between developing social and human capital, and the dynamics of labor-brokering (with Stephen Barley and Gideon Kunda). He is co-editing a book on the relationship between work, organization and technology with Steve Barley and Siobhan O’Mahony. Methodologically, Evans is developing new ways to represent and model fields of knowledge, supporting advances in natural language processing and pattern matching, and using quantitative analysis to focus his ethnographic investigations.

Publications include:

  • “Nonprofit Research Institutes: From Companies Without Products To Universities Without Students” in Lis Clemens and Doug Guthrie, eds., Politics and Partnerships: Associations and Nonprofit Organizations in American Governance 2006 (forthcoming).
  • “Start-ups in Science: Entrepreneurs, New Ventures, and Novelty Outside Business.” In Research in the Sociology of Organizations , eds. Martin Ruef and Michael Lounsbury, 2006 (forthcoming).
  • “Beach Time, Bridge Time, and Billable Hours: The Temporal Structure of Technical Contracting,” Administrative Science Quarterly , 2004.
  • “Why Do Contractors Contract? The Experience of Highly Skilled Technical Professionals in a Contingent Labor Market,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2002.