Barbara S. Lawrence

Profile photo of Barbara S. Lawrence
“I study organizations to make them better places to work.”

Professor Emeritus, Research Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Careers
  • Critical Thinking
  • Organizational Demography
  • Organizational Reference Groups
  • Social Networks
  • Social Norms




Barbara S. Lawrence became a member of the UCLA Anderson faculty in 1983. The second woman to get promoted to full tenure at Anderson, Lawrence teaches management, organizational behavior, research methods, organizational change, group dynamics and career development in the MBA, Ph.D., fully employed MBA, Executive MBA and executive education programs.

Her research examines organizational reference groups, the evolution of organizational norms, internal labor markets and their influence on employees' expectations and implicit work contracts, and the impact of population age change on occupations. Her work on careers includes the Handbook of Career Theory (with Michael Arthur and Tim Hall, Cambridge University Press). Her research has been funded by corporate, academic and government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health.

Lawrence is a member of the Academy of Management, American Psychological Association, American Sociological Association, INFORMS and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and is past president of the AOM Careers Division. She served as senior editor for Organization Science for nine years, as co-editor of special issues for the Academy of Management Review and the Journal of Organizational Behavior, and on the editorial boards of The Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Science.



Ph.D. Management, 1983, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management

M.A. College Student Personnel, 1973, University of Maryland

B.M. Performance, 1972, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music

Published Papers

Lawrence, Barbara S., and Neha Parikh Shah. 2017. Homophily: Measures and Meaning. Submitted to Sociological Methods and Review.

Kannan-Narasimhan, Rangapriya, and Barbara S. Lawrence. 2017. How Innovators Reframe Resources in the Strategy-Making Process to Gain Innovation Adoption. Strategic Managmenent Journal, Accepted for Publication.

Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Joel, and Stakeholder Alignment Collaborative. 2017, March 30. Five Ways Consortia Can Catalyse Open Science. Nature, 543(7647), 615-617. doi:10.1038/543615a. (Co-authors, listed alphabetically: Karen S. Baker, Nicholas Berente, Courtney Flint, Gabriel Gershenfeld, Brandon Grant, Michael Haberman, John Leslie King, Christine Kirkpatrick, Barbara Lawrence, Spenser Lewis, W. Christopher Lenhardt, Matthew Mayernik, Charles McElroy, Barbara Mittleman, Namchul Shin, Shelley Stall, Susan Winter & Ilya Zaslavsky.)

Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Joel, and Stakeholder Alignment Collaborative. 2016. Build It, But Will They Come? A Geoscience Cyberinfrastructure Baseline Analysis, Data Science Journal. X:X, 1-14, DOhttp// (Co-authors, listed alphabetically: Karen Baker, Nick Berente, Dorothy Carter, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Leslie DeChurch, Courtney Flint, Gabriel Gershenfeld, Michael Haberman, Christine Kirkpatrick, John L. King, Eric Knight, Barbara Lawrence, Spenser Lewis, Chris Lenhardt, Pablo Lopez, Matt Mayernik, Charles McElroy, Barbara Mittleman, Victor Nichol, Mark Nolan, Namchul Shin, Cheryl Thompson, Susan Winter, Ilya Zaslavsky.)

Lawrence, Barbara S., Hall, Douglas T., and Michael B. Arthur. 2015. Sustainable Careers Then and Now. In De Vos, Ans and Beatrice Van der Hejiden (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 432-449.

Lawrence, Barbara S., and Najung Kim. 2014. Age. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 3rd Edition.

Kannan-Narasimhan, Rangapriya, and Barbara S. Lawrence. 2013. Behavioral Integrity: How Leader Referents And Trust Matter To Workplace Outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics, 111(2), 165-178.

Bolukbasi, Burcu and Stakeholder Alignment Collaborative. 2013. Open Data: Crediting a Culture of Cooperation. Science, 342, 1041-1042.

Barbara S. Lawrence. (2011). Who is They? Inquiries into how individuals construe social context (Everett Cherrington Hughes Award Lecture). Human Relations64(6): 749-774. [ Link ]

Barbara S. Lawrence and Michael J. Zyphur. (2011). Identifying organizational faultlines with latent class cluster analysis. Organizational Research Methods14(1): 32-57. [ Link ]

Barbara S. Lawrence. (2010). Careers, social context and interdisciplinary thinking. Human Relations64(1): 59-84. [ Link ]

Donald E. Gibson and Barbara S. Lawrence. (2010). Women's and men's career referents: How gender composition and comparison level shape career expectations. Organization Science21(6): 1159-1175. [ Link ]

Barbara S. Lawrence and Pamela S. Tolbert. (2007). Organizational demography and individual careers: Structure, norms, and outcomes. In Gunz, Hugh, and Maury Peiperl (Eds.), Handbook of Career StudiesSage, 399-421. [ Link ]

Barbara S. Lawrence. (2006). Organizational reference groups: A missing perspective on social context. Organization Science17: 80-100. [ Link ]

Barbara S. Lawrence. (2004). How old you are may depend on where you work. Next Generation Business Handbook57: 986-1006. [ Link ]


Everett Cherrington Hughes Award for Career Scholarship, 2009

Best Paper Award of the First International Conference of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management with Co-Authors in Spain and U.S., 1999

Outstanding Publication in Organizational Behavior Award from the Academy of Management, 1998

Citation of Excellence from Anbar Electronic Intelligence, UK, 1998

Best Symposium Award for Opening the Black Box: Uncovering Processes that Connect Demographic Variables to Outcomes Important for Organizational Research, Academy of Management, Boston, 1997

Doctoral Student Appreciation Award, UCLA Anderson, 1994

UCLA Career Development Pre-Tenure Award, 1987 – 1988