October 29, 2001

ILR Dean Receives Cooley-Mead Award

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Edward J. Lawler, dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a scholar of organizational behavior, recently won the distinguished 2001 Cooley-Mead Award.

The award was given by the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in recognition of Lawler’s contributions to the field of social psychology throughout his career.

ASA is the paramount organization of sociology scholars in the United States and grants the Cooley-Mead Award annually. Lawler received the award for his research when he presented his paper, “Micro Social Orders: A Social Exchange” in Anaheim, Calif. at their August award ceremony.

Lawler’s work has centered on examining the role emotion plays in exchange and negotiation. “The award came out of earlier work but was a cumulative development,” he said.

“Winning was a surprise,” noted Lawler, who didn’t know he had even been nominated as a candidate. “I didn’t really think about it. I knew someday I could win it, but I didn’t dwell on it.”

Throughout his career of 30 years, Lawler participated in writing and editing 15 books and more than 30 articles for specialized journals. He served as editor of “Social Psychology Quarterly in Group Processes,” a serial publication of theoretical and empirical work on small-group relationships.

Lawler also co-wrote Power and Politics in Organizations, which was published in 1980, as well as Bargaining: Power Tactics and Outcomes, which was published in 1981 with Prof. Samuel Bacharach, organized behavior.

Lawler came to Cornell to become a part of the Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) faculty in 1994. In 1998, he helped implement the move of much of the ILR program into a new $23 million 116,000 square-foot building. In addition, Lawler began Union Days, which is a program comprised of a year-long series of workshops and seminars in which ILR faculty, students and union leaders participate.

Lawler said, “If I had kept with my work I might have won it anyway, but Cornell definitely contributed.”

“Some of my best work” was done at Cornell, he added, noting that the University has had a “good context to continue to develop the work I had done before.”

Lawler noted that Cooley-Mead is “the key award for a sociologist with my interest … and is a capstone” in his career.

Archived article by Kate Walton