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Martin Ruef Princeton University, USA

While formal organizations (and the institutions that support them) are key features of the contemporary social landscape, sociologists have only recently developed empirical descriptions of the processes that lead to their emergence. My research considers the social context of entrepreneurship from both a contemporary and historical perspective. Large-scale surveys of entrepreneurs in the United States permit me to explore team formation, innovation, exchange processes, and boundary maintenance in nascent startups. My historical analyses address entrepreneurial activity leading to the founding of U.S. medical schools since the 18th century and the organizational transformation of Southern agriculture and industry in the post-bellum period.