Research interests

My research interests can be summarized along the following three dimensions:

  • At a theoretical level, I study institutional processes, in particular trust, routines, and legitimacy.
  • At a substantive level, I address interorganizational relationships, innovation, and firm success.
  • At a methodological level, I utilize experiments, key informant surveys, and large archival data sets.

My research has been published in leading outlets such as the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science QuarterlyAmerican Sociological Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Strategic Management Journal, and other scholarly journals. It has so far been cited more than 10,000 times on Google Scholar.

What unites most of my research is a deep interest in organizational phenomena that are highly institutionalized. By this, I mean processes that are taken-for-granted, are executed quasi-automatically, and often operate outside actors' immediate awareness. The goal of my research is to better understand how such institutional processes emerge and become habitualized over time, how they affect perceptions of the organizational environment, and how they ultimately influence innovation and firm success.

I have received several awards for my scholarship, including a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, an Emerging Scholar Award from the Strategic Management Society, and an Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management.

Some of my projects have been generously funded by the National Science Foundation, the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, among others.

Please see my list of publications to learn more about my published and work-in-progress research.



Schilke, Oliver, Martin Reimann, & Karen S. Cook. 2021. "Trust in social relations." Annual Review of Sociology, 47, 239-259.

Structural obfuscation

Schilke, Oliver, & Gabriel Rossman. 2018. "It's only wrong if it's transactional: moral perceptions of obfuscated exchange." American Sociological Review.

Legitimacy processes

Haack, Patrick, Oliver Schilke, & Lynne G. Zucker. 2021. "Legitimacy revisited: disentangling propriety, validity, and consensus." Journal of Management Studies.