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Russell Funk

Carlson School of Management

Russell Funk

Assistant Professor, Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

Russell Funk is an assistant professor in the Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship group at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Before joining the faculty at Minnesota, he earned his PhD in economic sociology at the University of Michigan, where he received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. He earned his AB from the University of Chicago. During that time, he also worked at Argonne National Laboratory in the Materials Science Division.

His research has appeared or is forthcoming in leading management and health care journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Medical Care, and Annals of Surgery. His work has received recognition from several different professional societies, including the Best Graduate Student Paper Award from the Academy of Management’s Technology and Innovation Management Division and the James D. Thompson Award (honorable mention), given by the American Sociological Association’s section on Organizations, Occupations and Work. 

Funk’s research is driven by the idea that the growing availability of large administrative, government, and web data sets create novel opportunities for management research, and he has been active in applying the tools of big data to social science. These efforts have led to invited presentations and meetings with data science groups at organizations including the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory's Computation Institute, Internet2, Microsoft, Michigan's Office of Research Cyberinfrastructure, and the Gordon and Betty Moore and Alfred P. Sloan Foundations. While at the University of Michigan, he was the founding chair of a users group aimed at exploring the intersection of big data and organizational studies. 

Research Interests

Professor Funk’s research examines the consequences of social networks for organizational growth and performance. He looks at how patterns of collaboration and communication among employees facilitate and constrain organizations’ use of knowledge and other resources. His findings demonstrate that these network structures have performance consequences in areas ranging from the innovation and stock price of high-technology companies, to knowledge transfer in software development organizations, to the cost and quality of hospital care. 

Using techniques from network science, machine learning, and natural language processing, Funk is developing methods and approaches for gaining insights from administrative records and other “digital breadcrumbs” that organizations create in their day-to-day operations. He has extensive experience analyzing these kinds of data from a range of organizations, including Stack Exchange, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, among others.

Related Publications

Funk, Russell J. 2014. "How Knowledge Categorization Systems and Evaluation Norms Enable and Constrain Network Change in Organizations." Working Paper, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

Funk, Russell J. 2014. "Making the Most of Where You Are: Geography, Networks, and Innovation in Organizations." Academy of Management Journal 57 (1):193-222. 

Funk, Russell J. and Jason Owen-Smith. 2012. "A Dynamic Network Approach to Breakthrough Innovation." arXiv:1212.3559.
Funk, Russell J., Jason Owen-Smith, Bruce E. Landon, John D. Birkmeyer, and John M. Hollingsworth. Forthcoming. "Identifying Natural Alignments between Ambulatory Surgery Centers and Local Health Systems: Building Broader Communities of Surgical Care." Medical Care. 
Hollingsworth, John M., Russell J. Funk, Jason Owen-Smith, Bruce E. Landon, Brent K. Hollenbeck, and John D. Birkmeyer. Forthcoming. "Assessing the Reach of Health Reform to Outpatient Surgery with Social Network Analysis." Annals of Surgery.