NSF Science of Organizations
Organizations -- private and public, established and entrepreneurial, designed and emergent, formal and informal, profit and nonprofit -- are critical to the well-being of nations and their citizens. They are of crucial importance for producing goods and services, creating value, providing jobs, and achieving social goals. The Science of Organizations (SoO) program funds basic research that yields a scientific evidence base for improving the design and emergence, development and deployment, and management and ultimate effectiveness of organizations of all kinds. SoO funds research that advances our fundamental understanding of how organizations develop, form and operate. Successful SoO research proposals use scientific methods to develop and refine theories, to empirically test theories and frameworks, and to develop new measures and methods. Funded research is aimed at yielding generalizable insights that are of value to the business practitioner, policy-maker and research communities. SoO welcomes any and all rigorous, scientific approaches that illuminate aspects of organizations as systems of coordination, management and governance. In considering whether a particular project might be a candidate for consideration by SoO, please note: Intellectual perspectives may involve (but are not limited to) organizational theory, behavior, sociology or economics, business policy and strategy, communication sciences, entrepreneurship, human resource management, information sciences, managerial and organizational cognition, operations management, public administration, social or industrial psychology, and technology and innovation management. Phenomena studied may include (but are not limited to) structures, routines, effectiveness, competitiveness, innovation, dynamics, change and evolution. Levels of analysis may include (but are not limited to) organizational, cross-organizational collaborations or relationships, and institutional and can address individuals, groups or teams. Research methods may be qualitative and quantitative and may include (but are not limited to) archival analyses, surveys, simulation studies, experiments, comparative case studies, and network analyses. Consistent with NSF merit review criteria, each SoO proposal should discuss both the intellectual merit and the potential broader impacts of the proposed research. SoO values basic research that has the potential to provide broader societal benefits. However, the majority of space in any proposal will need to be dedicated to the explication of theory, methods, and specific contribution to the evidence base about organizational effectiveness. Projects that aim to implement and subsequently evaluate particular organizational training, effectiveness or change programs, rather than to advance fundamental, generalizable knowledge, are not appropriate for SoO.