Paul Adler

Affiliate Research Scientist
Harold Quinton Chair of Business Policy, Professor of Management and Organization, Sociology, and Environmental Studies

Paul S. Adler is Professor of Management and Organization, of Sociology, and of Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California. He holds the Marshall Business School’s Harold Quinton Chair in Business Policy. He began his education in Australia and moved to France in 1974, where he received his doctorate in Economics and Management while working as a Research Economist for the French government. He came to the USA in 1981, and before arriving at USC in 1991, he was affiliated with the Brookings Institution, Columbia University, Harvard Business School, and Stanford’s School of Engineering.

Recent Research

Life at CMM Level 5: Lessons from Computer Sciences Corporation on the Effective Implementation of the Capability Maturity Model for Software

Paul S. Adler, Frank E. McGarry, Wendy B. Irion-Talbot, and Derek J. Binney share that a growing number of organizations are using the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM) as a guide to improving their development process.

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Performance Improvement Capability: Keys to Accelerating Performance Improvements in Hospitals

Paul S. Adler, Seok_Woo Kwon, Patricia Riley, Jordana Signer, Ben Lee, and Ram Satrasala explain that improvement trajectory is the fruit of a series of improvement projects, the proximate cause of this variation between organizations lies in the varied ways these projects are managed.

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Building Better Bureaucracies

Paul A. Adler states that colloquially speaking, “bureaucracy” means red tape, over-controlling bosses, and apathetic employees. But large-scale organizations need appropriately designed formalized procedures and hierarchical structure to avoid chaos and to assure efficiency, quality, and timeliness.

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Human Resource Management at Two Toyota Transplants

Paul A. Adler explains that there is broad consensus that the superlative efficiency and quality performance of Japanese auto “transplants” in the US is in large measure due to their combination of the “lean” production systems and distinctive human resource management practices.

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Who Needs MBA's in H.R.? USC's Strategic H.R. Management MBA Concentration

P. Adler and E. Lawler III discuss how article after article on the future of U.S. corporations stresses the importance of HR skills for line managers and “business partner” skills for HR managers. Despite this very few MBA programs offer concentrations in HRM.

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