Faculty Directory

Polly Rizova

Polly Rizova

“Young people today will have to learn organizations the way their forefathers learned farming.” -Peter Drucker

“The fact is that the organization of the large formal enterprises, governmental or private, in modern society is modeled on, is a rationalization of, tendencies that exist in all human groups.” -George Homans

Read more about Polly Rizova's book, The Secret of Success

Message

To say that organizations are ubiquitous to us, is to state the obvious. Hardly any of our daily human activities take place outside of not just one but multiple formal organizations. Chances are, the vast majority of us were born in a formal organization and we spend the rest of our lives as members of numerous others. We shape them and they shape us. To be a member of an organization, or moreover, to be given the responsibility of managing processes in a marketing, finance, accounting, or any other functional area for that matter, in the absence of a keen appreciation of the complexity of forms and a critical understanding of how organizations “really” work and change can be pernicious to managing our own personal and professional life chances and, what's more, to making decisions that shape those of others.

More specifically, to succeed in this world ruled and governed by formal organizations, and to improve our effectiveness both as a manager and a member, it is a must that we acquire and continuously develop a wide array of skills and competencies including: how to set up structures that facilitate work; how to deal with and accommodate change; and how to work with other people, for other people, and through other people. To these ends, the Organizational Development and Change area offers courses that examine the behaviors of large organizations – whether public, private, or not-for-profit – in terms of their functioning, performance and accountability to their various stakeholders.

Biography

Polly Rizova serves as Associate Professor of Management at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Dr. Rizova came to Willamette from the Department of Sociology and The College of General Studies at Boston University. She has also been a Visiting Professor at Wellesley College and Tufts University in Massachusetts.

A native of Bulgaria, Dr. Rizova began her career as a Regional Manager and Data Analyst at the Central Statistical Office in Sofia. In the United States, she first worked at the Office of Institutional Research and Policy Analysis at the State University of New York in Albany. She then moved to Boston where she has been an internal consultant for the Gillette Company. Her work there involved several studies into the design of the business processes and organizational structure of the company’s Corporate Research and Development Division .

Dr. Rizova earned a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Economics from the Higher Institute of Economics in Bulgaria. She then received a Diploma through a United Nations Fellowship at the International Statistics Program Center in Washington, D.C. She also holds a Master of Arts from the State University of New York at Albany and earned her Ph.D. in Sociology of Formal Organizations from Boston University.

Personal Interests

Reading about world history, philosophy and cultures, traveling, learning foreign languages, listening to music and watching films and documentaries, never fail to make me feel a citizen of the world who is inextricably and meaningfully connected to the human race for whose variety I have a genuine appreciation and respect.

Education

  • Ph.D., Boston University
  • M.A., State University of New York, Albany
  • Diploma, International Statistics Program Center
  • B.A.,M.A., Higher Institute of Economics (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Teaching and Research Interests

Managing Organizational Dynamics, Social Networks for Managers, Leading Organizational Change, Organization Design

Selected Professional Activities

Reviewer for Organization Science, Reviewer for the Organization and Management Theory Division, The Academy of Management, Reviewer for the Technology and Innovation Management Division, The Academy of Management

Selected Publications

Rizova, P. and Stone, J (In Press). Race, Ethnicity and Nation. The International Studies Association Compendium Project. Edited by Robert A. Denmark, Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.

Stone, J. and Rizova, P. (2008). Race: Comparative Perspectives. In the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, Richard T. Schaefer (Ed.), Sage Publications, pp. 1093-96.

Rizova, P. S. (2007). The Secret of Success: The Double Helix of Formal and Informal Structures in an R&D Laboratory, Stanford University Press.

Stone, J., and Rizova, P. (2007). Rethinking Racial Conflict in an Era of Global Terror, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Special Issue edited by Ian Law and Bobby Sayyid, Vol. 30, (4): 534-45.

Stone, J., and Rizova, P. (In Press). Race: Comparative Perspectives. In the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, Richard T. Schaefer (Ed.), Sage Publications.

Rizova, P. (2007). Technological Innovation and Scientific Research. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, George Ritzer (Ed.), Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, Vol. 10: 4952-4955.

Rizova, P. (2007). Organizational Learning. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, George Ritzer (Ed.), Oxford : Blackwell Publishing, Vol. 7: 3307-3310.

Rizova, P. (2007). Balkanization. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, George Ritzer (Ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, Vol. 1: 239-240.

Stone, J., and Rizova, P. (2007). Racial and Ethnic Conflict. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, George Ritzer (Ed.), Oxford : Blackwell Publishing, Vol. 2: 659-662.

Rizova, P. S. (2006). Are You Networked for Successful Innovation? MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 49-55.

Stone, J., and Rizova, P. (2006). The Ethnic Enigma: Nationalism, Racism, and Globalisation. In Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism, A. Leoussi and S. Grosby (Eds.), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 31-41.

Smith-Doerr, L., Manev. I., and Rizova, P. S. (2004). The Meaning of Success: Network Position and the Social Construction of Project Outcomes in an R&D Lab, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Vol. 21, pp. 51-81.

Referred Publications in Conference Proceedings:

Rizova, P. (2005). The Double Helix of Formal and Informal Structures: Project Design for R&D Success. In K. Mark Weaver (Ed.), Best Paper Proceedings of the Sixty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management , ISSN 1543-8643.

Gordon, G., Bush, J.B., & Rizova, P. (1997). Management of Technical Innovation, Proceedings of the Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET ’97) 27-31 July.

Selected Presentations

Rizova, P. S. (2008). Applying Ragin's method of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) to Studying Technologically Innovative Projects. European Group of Organizational Studies, 24th Annual Colloquium, Amsterdam, Holland, July 10-12.

Rizova, P. S. (2007). Beyond Waltz: The Dance Between Individuals and Organizations. European Group of Organizational Studies, 23rd Annual Colloquium, Vienna, Austria, July 4-7.

Rizova, P. S. (2006). Work-related Advice Networks, Social Capital and Technological Innovation on R&D Projects: What is the Missing Link? 10th International Workshop on Teamwork (IWOT X), Groningen, The Netherlands, September 7-8.

Rizova, P. S. (2006). It Takes Two to Tango: A Choreography of R&D Project Success, Academy of Management Meeting, Atlanta, GA, August 11-16.

Rizova, P. S. (2006). Does the Boss Know it All? Advice Social Networks and Success on R&D Projects, American Sociological Association Meeting, Refereed Roundtable Session, Montreal, Canada, August 11-14.

Rizova, P. S. (2005). The Double Helix of Formal and Informal Structures: Project Design for R&D Success, Academy of Management Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 5-10.

Rizova, P. S. (2005). Social Networks, Social Capital and Success on Technologically Innovative Projects. American Sociological Association Meeting, 100th meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 13-16.

Rizova, P. S. (2005). Whom to Ask and Whom Not to Ask: Social Networks, Social Capital and Success on R&D Projects. The 37th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, Stockholm, Sweden, July 5-9.

Rizova, P. S. (2004). Technological Innovation: Global Comparisons. Invited lecture to the Chinese Nanjing University delegation at the Boston University School of Management, 13-14 December 2004. 

Smith-Doerr, L. and Rizova, P. S. (2003). The Meaning of Success: Network Position and the Social Construction of R&D Project Outcomes. American  Sociological Association, "Organizations, Occupations, and Work Refereed Roundtables" Session, Atlanta, GA.

Bush, J. B., and Rizova, P. S. (1999). Management of Creativity for Innovation. Presentation at the 12th National Science, Technology and Society Meeting, Worcester, MA. 6-9 March. 

Bush, J. B. Jr. and Rizova, P. S. (1997). Information Processing and Management of Technological Innovation, Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET ’97) 27-31 July.