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Sociology Research


Thomas Roulet is an organisational and economic sociologist, and Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory at the Cambridge Judge Business School. He is a Fellow in sociology at Girton College. Before joining Cambridge, he held positions at King’s College London, the University of Bath, the University of Oxford, and Columbia University in New York.

His work mostly focuses on negative social evaluations at different levels of analysis (practice, individual, organisational), which gets him to study a variety of phenomena including stigma, scandals, deviance, misconduct or dirty work. He has published in a variety of outlets in management and social sciences. In a recent book, ‘The Power of Being Divisive: Understanding Negative Social Evaluations’ (Stanford University Press, 2020), he unpacks why negative evaluation might paradoxically be beneficial.

He also mobilises and contributes to institutional theory - in particular material and micro-foundational approaches to institutions – and systemic approaches to ethics. In terms of methods, he has engaged in debates around the ethicality of covert participant observation (Roulet et al., 2017, in Organizational Research Methods). He applies those various lenses to examine the world of work and social relations in organisations.

His work has been covered in a variety of media outlets including the Financial Times, the Economist, the Economic Times, ITV News, Bloomberg or the BBC. He writes a column for Forbes on the future of work, leadership and communication.

Research Interests

Stigma; Scandals; Deviance; Institutional Theory; Stakeholder systems.


SOC1: Supervisions

Organisational Analysis (MPhil in Management)

Organisational Behaviour (MBA)

Qualitative Research Methods (MPhil in Innovation, Strategy & Organisation)

Key Publications - Books

Roulet, T. J. (2020). The power of being divisive: Understanding negative social evaluations. Stanford University Press. 

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Roulet, T. J., Paolella, L., Gabbioneta, C., & Muzio, D. (2019). Microfoundations of institutional change in the career structure of UK elite law firms. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Volume on Microfoundations of institutions. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Key Publications - Other

Roulet, T. and Laker, B. (2020) “Now is the time to reconnect with your dormant social network.” MIT Sloan Management Review, 22 April 2020

Roulet, T. and Bothello, J. (2020) Why 'de-growth' shouldn't scare businesses. Harvard Business Review.

Laker, B. & Roulet, T. (2019). Will the 4-day week take hold in Europe? Harvard Business Review

Gill, M. & Roulet, T. (March 2019) Stressed at Work? Mentoring a Colleague Could Help. Harvard Business Review.

Shymko, Y. & Roulet, T. (August 2016). When Corporate Philanthropy Makes the Recipient Look Bad. Harvard Business Review.

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations


  • Honorable Mention, Supervisor Award, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, 2020.
  • University-wide Teaching Excellence Award, King’s College London, 2018
  • Best paper in Organizational Research Methods for 2017, Research Methods Division, AOM, 2018
  • British Academy/Leverhulme Grant, 2017
  • Best paper nomination, Research Methods Division, Academy of Management, 2016
  • Runner-up, Grigor McClelland Best Dissertation Award, European Group of Organisation Studies, 2014

Additional Information

Job Title:
Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory (Cambridge Judge Business School), Fellow in Sociology (Girton College)
Contact Information: