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An essay in honor of Hüseyin Leblebici and his contributions to research in professions and organizations

An essay in honor of Hüseyin Leblebici and his contributions to research in professions and organizations

Journal of Professions and Organization, Volume 5, Issue 1, 1 March 2018, Pages 2–11,

10 January 2018

This essay is a tribute to the scholarly career of Huseyin Leblebici, specifically his contribution to the field of the professions and organizations. We start from the premise that Huseyin’s work over the past generation in many ways characterizes the development of this field—an idea that struck us when we began preparing to write this essay. We noticed too how several aspects of his work in terms of research themes, style, and outlets evolved over almost three decades in tandem with the field. The structure of this essay is as follows. We begin by presenting a brief background to Huseyin’s early scholarship. Then, the heart of the essay contains analyses of his contributions to the field of professions and organizations research in three chronological phases. For the first phase, we examine earlier publications, which generally focus on professional work. The second phase contains papers with a more organizational and strategic orientation. Finally, more recent projects explored the changing context of professional work. The essay concludes with thoughts of Huseyin’s broader contributions, including his roles as a mentor, leader, and editor.

Huseyin grew up in Turkey and completed his BS at Middle East Technical University in Ankara. He moved to the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign in 1970, completing his MBA and PhD in Business Administration in 1975. His thesis was entitled, ‘Organizational Decision-Making: An Exploration of Binary Choice Situations in Bank Loan Decisions’, and his committee was composed of three of the top organizational researchers of the generation: Jerald Salancik (Chair), Louis R. Pondy, and Barry M. Staw. 

Huseyin initially moved back to Turkey with his wife Ruth Yontz, taking a job at Middle East Technical University in Ankara. Huseyin and Ruth decided to return to the USA for Ruth to complete her PhD at Northwestern University. They extended their stay in the USA because of political turmoil in Turkey. Huseyin eventually settled in at his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His career there would last for almost 40 years. He would not only be recognized for his scholarly achievements, his excellence at teaching and mentoring students, but also for his administrative and leadership skills. In addition to their many academic achievements, Huseyin and Ruth raised their two very accomplished daughters, Leyla and Sibel, in Champaign, Illinois. 

His scholarly career quickly established itself, beginning with publications with Jeff Pfeffer in Social Forces and Administrative Science Quarterly (Pfeffer and Leblebici 1973a, b), and continued with several more influential publications in top-quality journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly (Pfeffer, Salancik, and Leblebici 1976; Leblebici and Salancik 1981, 1982), Organization Studies (Leblebici, Marlow, and Rowland 1983; Leblebici 1985), and Social Networks (Leblebici and Whetton 1984) within a decade of completing his PhD. This stream of high quality publications continued through the following decade as well, with his highly influential historical and institutional analysis of radio broadcasting in Administrative Science Quarterly (Leblebici et al. 1991). 

Huseyin’s work through the years showed considerable variety and flexibility in thinking. He was fundamentally an organizational theorist who eclectically looked to various theoretical arguments, multiple methods, and different research contexts. Early on, his work looked at competition and organizational structure (Pfeffer and Leblebici 1973a), horizontal hierarchy and organizational networks (Leblebici and Whetton, 1984), executive succession (Pfeffer and Leblebici 1973b), and decision processes (Pfeffer, Salancik, and Leblebici 1976; Leblebici and Salancik 1981). Much of his earlier work was quantitative in nature, but he was always theoretically minded, and later he conducted and became an advocate for historical research (Leblebici and Shah 2004; Leblebici 2012, 2014). In addition to his interest in the professions, his research spanned a number of different contexts, including financial services (e.g., Leblebici and Salancik 1981, 1982), radio broadcasting (Leblebici et al. 1991; Leblebici, 1995), and the restaurant industry (Salancik and Leblebici, 1988). His career was marked with a tremendous passion for thinking about what is versus what there might be, and that took him beyond conventional thinking and wisdoms.


Nature of employment and internal labor markets in professional organizations Huseyin’s contribution to research on the professions and organizations arguably begins in 1990 with a short piece in the Proceedings of the Forty Third Annual Meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association (Leblebici 1990). In a number of ways, this piece would foreshadow much of Huseyin’s work and that of organizational scholars interested in professions and their organizations. 

Huseyin began the paper by embedding his argument in the notion of internal labor markets (ILMs), administrative mechanisms firms use to make internal allocation and pricing decisions regarding employees (Doeringer and Piore 1971). While craft ILMs had been viewed as a way to conceptualize professional work (Doeringer and Piore 1971), Huseyin argued that professionals differed from craft workers in important ways. A key difference highlighted by Huseyin was in the nature of ownership, with professionals in organizations often acting as partners in professional partnerships. 

Huseyin proposed a model of professional work and organization that specified key relationships. The first was the client–professional relation. The second was the organization–profession relation, which entailed management and the like over professionals. Huseyin did not specify but it was implied that a third relation was the specific linkage between the firm and the client, which was outside of the direct relationship between the client and profession. 

Three spheres of activity guided and influenced these relations in organizations. The first was the ideological sphere, by which Huseyin referred to issues regarding the division of labor in professional organizations. He argued that decisions such as selecting only those managers who themselves did the work was ideological, based on the belief that you had to work in the profession in order to effectively manage other professionals. Ideas here would come to be further developed in Kor and Leblebici’s (2005) article in Strategic Management Journal which looked at how law firms’ development and deployment of human capital and their diversification strategies affected firm performance. The second was the economic sphere, which tied to issues about how to make reward allocations, especially given the uncertainty about revenues, an issue that Huseyin would delve much deeper into in his chapter in Laura Empson’s (2007) book, Managing the Modern Law Firm. The third sphere was that of political, by which Huseyin was speaking to the governance of the professional service firm.

Governance too would become an important theme in later work, particularly in Leblebici and Sherer (2015) which went beyond existing perspectives to take a legal normative view of governance. The ideas in this short piece would continue to intrigue Huseyin, and they would be reflected in subsequent work on professions and organizations. Peter Sherer was also a presenter in the session and he vividly recalls how Huseyin’s ideas got people interested in thinking about professions. While there were theoretical pieces at the time by agency theorists like Fama and Jensen (1983a,b) that opened up new ways of thinking about professions, there was little in the way of renewed thinking in organizational theory and neo-institutionalists’ perspectives on professions and organizations. Huseyin’s thinking in this short and modest piece provided a different lens for thinking about the professions and organizations, one that was ahead of its time, and that would contribute to the renewal we now see in theory and research on professions and organizations. 

Bringing variety and change into strategic human resource management research

Huseyen’s early work in the professions with Peter Sherer was aimed at infusing the field of strategic human resource management (HRM) with a greater sense of the variety that existed in the way human resources were or could be managed. Sherer and Leblebici (2001) argued at the onset of their chapter that strategic HRM had landed on a best practices approach, with a focus heavily on ‘high commitment’ HRM practices, such as promotion from within and firm-specific skill development being paramount. The idea behind these set of practices largely came from an industrial model of ILMs. They argued that there was considerable more variation that existed or could possibly exist than this best practice approach suggested. Moreover, they argued that without seeing the real or potential variety in how organizations manage their human resources, there was little meaning to taking a strategic view, as it implied that firms make choices among different approaches. Their focus on variety, as detailed below, lead them to look at professions, and the distinct ways their organizations manage human resources.

They used Scott and Meyer’s (1991) distinction betweeen institutional and competitive environments to argue that under different institutional and competitive environments we would see more or less variety in HRM systems. Scott and Meyer posed four possibilities: low institutional, low competitive environments; high institutional, low competitive environments; low institutional, high competitive environments; and high institutional, high competitive environments. Sherer and Leblebici argued that low institutional, low competitive environments were perhaps not empirically observable, but there were many examples from the other types of environments. They looked to the professions to highlight the variation that existed in two of those environments. They discussed the early days of the US tenure system at Harvard under conditions of high institutionalism and a low competitive environment. And, they looked to large law firms and their HRM practices as highlighting what occurs when environments are both highly institutionalized and competitive. 

Sherer and Leblebici (2001) was one of many pieces in which Huseyin sought to uncover the vast differences that we might see, if only we looked. Rather than focus on the uniformity and stability suggested by the highly influential work of DiMaggio and Powell (1983), Huseyin sought to go beyond what was conventional, dominant, and taken for granted. Instead, he tried to understand what was possible and what might be there if we looked for it. The professions provided a unique context for this work because they used different practices, organizational forms, and governance structures than large scale industrial organizations, which were the main focus of organizaitonal and managerial research at the time. Huseyin’s study of the professions from here would take him to other interesting and novel places. 

Editorial introduction to the special issue: Knowledge and Professional Organizations 

Hinings and Leblebici’s (2003) short essay introducing the special issue spoke to the wide diversity in thinking and approaches to the topic of Knowledge and Professional Organizations. Even with this variety, they saw two distinct approaches in the six studies that were accepted into the special issue. The first was for work to make use of the professional context to argue for new theories, specific to the professions, given their argued unique qualities. The second was for work to make use of the professional context to challenge, refine, and augment extant theories. These two approaches continue to provide a healthy debate in research on the professions and organizations. Rather than attempt to ‘solve’ or end this debate, they encouraged the diversity. In the end, they state ‘It is this [diversity] that makes for a rich study and holds out considerable promise for the future’ (p. 830). In this regard, Bob Hinings related to us, ‘Indeed that existence of, and interest in, diversity is typical of Huseyin’s approach to understanding professions and professional organizations. His encouragement in that leaves a long-term legacy.’


The origins of strategic practice: product diversification in the American Mutual Fund Industry

Lounsbury and Leblebici (2004) show how a sociological approach, with a focus on the role of professionalization, contributes to strategic management beyond economic arguments in our understanding of product diversification. They do so in the context of the diversification of mutual funds that occurred over the 20th century. They examined how larger institutional forces, namely, the professionalization of money managers, were critical in the shift to product diversification. They historically trace mutual funds from offerings of single funds of multiple blue-chip stocks to wealthy families, to the riskier growth funds of the 1950s, and then on to the multi-product family funds that now dominate the industry and which are routinely being further diversified. Their work is an impressive multi-method approach that blends together historical research, interviews, and an event history analysis. Their work highlights how the professionalization project of money managers, both by practitioners and academics, was the catalyst that moved the industry from its staid offerings to the multi-product fund families that now dominate and that are the equivalent of branded consumer goods. Their work also as they state (p.85), ‘... contributes to efforts to examine the co-evolutionary dynamics of professions and organizations’. 

Michael Lounsbury related to us: 

We provide an institutional ecology that counters more simplified economic approaches to strategic decision making. In addition, we show how professionalization projects, while often aiming to gain status and autonomy, can have unintended consequences; in our case, they provide the motor for marketization that creates heightened transparency and market discipline on their activities. As in other markets organized by rankings and ratings, the result for money managers is anxiety produced by the need to generate short-term performance. Overall, our project, like much of Huseyin’s work, highlights the power and promise of organization theory.

How do interdependencies among human-capital deployment, development, and diversification strategies affect firms’ financial performance?

Kor and Leblebici identified and conceptualized the organizational challenges that increasing diversification and lateral hiring posed for professional service firms in terms of interdependencies in their human capital development and deployment strategies. To examine these interdependencies, they tested the effects on profitability of product and geographical diversification in its interaction with the leveraging practices of large US law firms. Their study showed that, while leveraging and diversification by themselves lead to higher profitability, there was a negative interaction effect between high leveraging practice and heavy reliance on external acquisition of human capital through lateral hiring. Also, while lateral hiring had significant benefits such as enabling growth and diversification into new areas of legal practice, when it was combined with high partner leveraging, it diminished the profitability of the firm. They attributed this finding to the difficulties faced by these firms in properly socializing and transitioning the laterally hired lawyers into the firm, especially when partners are already stretched thin as a result of managing large teams of associates. The study made use of both quantitative analyses and in-depth post hoc interviews with partners and lawyers in large law firms. The interviews further revealed that partners are often unaware of these interdependencies, and are thus vulnerable to their potential negative effects on performance. Yasemin Kor, Huseyin’s coauthor, conveyed how much she enjoyed working with Huseyin and how much she learned from him about professional service firms and their particular value for empirical testing the resource based view of the firm:

We had fascinating conversations throughout the study. He approached the subject as an organization theory scholar and I was a strategic management doctoral student at the time ... . I appreciated his relaxed, inquisitive approach– we regularly met and he never rushed the conversations. He was careful not providing all the answers and encouraging me to explore and think about them. The paper we produced is one of the studies I am most proud of.

Determining the value of legal knowledge: billing and compensation practices in law firms

Huseyin’s chapter in Managing the Modern Law Firm (2007) spoke to billing and compensation practices in law firms with the aim of understanding and potentially challenging the institutionalized dominance of the billable hour as the means for lawyers to be paid by clients. As the editor, Laura Empson, states, ‘Huseyin agreed to write the chapter on the billable hour – the topic of revenue being particularly close to lawyers’ hearts.’ 

Huseyin provided a critical insight into the billable hour in his argument that the billable hour was an institutionalized practice that was actually part of a larger business model. As Huseyin stated (2007, p. 119), ‘... the billable hour has not only become the means of charging clients but also a critical administrative tool in managing law firms’. Moreover, he argued (2007, p. 134): ‘... the institutional practices of cost-plus pricing, hourly billing, deferred compensation [for those that achieve partner), and the tournament ownership structure [as reflected in upor-out partnership promotion systems] provide a tightly integrated system that is very difficult to disentangle’. In this regard, Huseyin suggested that the billable hour had more to do with internal concerns than that of external concerns with clients. He notes that management consultants even went so far as to advise law firms that they should determine their income and how to raise it by first deciding on how much they wanted to make and then calculating their hours and billing rate.

There is a great deal more to this chapter. Huseyin goes so far as to trace the history of billing practices all the way back to the Romans in 200 BC. From there, he traces the genesis of the billing through medieval times, the 1800s, and to the present. Huseyin shows too there is more variety in billing practice than just the billable hour. Nonetheless, it is an institutionalized practice that dominates and it will not go away without a fight given that it is embedded in a larger business model and set of internal administrative practices. As Huseyin stated (2007, pp. 135 and 136): ‘... it is not possible to establish a more diverse billing system without rethinking pricing, compensation, and ownership practices’.

As Laura Empson states, ‘It is testament to the quality and originality of Huseyin’s chapter that, while targeted at a practitioner audience, it has nevertheless been well-cited by academics also. Ten years after it was written, it remains a cracking good read.'

Understanding professionals and their workplaces: the mission of the Journal of Professions and Organization

In 2012, Huseyin joined David Brock and Daniel Muzio as founding editors of the Journal of Professions and Organization. They felt that this research area was now sufficiently developed to merit its own journal. And they were concerned that papers on professionals and their workplaces published in other management, organizational, public, and sociology journals often were stripped of their implications for professionals by lack of editorial interests in these contexts. Huseyin coauthored this editors’ essay (Brock, Leblebici, and Muzio 2014) in the inaugural issue of JPO, which reviewed relevant scholarly work in the area, noting a dearth of recent publications in leading management and organization journals that include findings that foster a better understanding of professional organizations. This essay also sets out the journal’s mission, philosophy, and policies and outlines several areas in which JPO intends to promote research and understanding of professions, professionals, their work, and organization.

JPO could not have been created without Huseyin. Building on the Hinings and Leblebici’s (2003) special issue, Huseyin brought his global stature as a scholar, along with his editorial experience, and his knowledge of researchers and their relevant projects. In crafting JPO’s scope and strategy, Huseyin always stressed the community-building aspect: as a new journal—initially unknown, unranked, and unproven—Huseyin argued that we had to compete for scholars’ attention and time. On the one hand, he understood and stressed the joy many researchers would get from writing (and/or reviewing) a paper for a niche journal that celebrated the law firm or HMO context in which the study was based. On the other hand, he knew that busy people in competitive academic careers would be hesitant to invest their time in an unranked journal. One very successful community-building effort was a workshop in Chicago organized by Huseyin in May, 2013. Almost all the papers selected by Huseyin for presentation at this workshop were subsequently published in JPO and established the journal’s early impact; and the scholars that he selected to attend the workshop went on to become essential members of the community—not just as authors, but as reviewers and editorial board members.

Governance in professional service firms

Leblebici and Sherer (2015) argued there is a complexity and variation to governance in professional service firms (PSFs) that has not been sufficiently addressed in the extant cultural or structural views on governance in PSFs such as the agency, the partnership, the stakeholder, and the trustee perspective. Their view was that these perspectives provided us with insights on a number of key issues regarding governance, but a number of critical issues remained. Instead, they took a legal normative view of governance defined as the legal and non-legal rules, norms, conventions, standards, and managerial practices that facilitate the coordination and conflict resolution among the critical constituencies of PSF for the firm as an institution. As such, they argued that governance spoke to ... the nature of financial and professional relationship among partners; it structures the career progressions of associates as they move towards partnership and clarifies the compensations practices; it provides the guidelines on how various participants within the firm should interact with each other and with clients; it may provide procedures for succession planning; and, it shapes the incentives for developing and protecting the intellectual capital of these firms (p. 190).

Their legal normative view led them to identify a major unexplored issue in the study of governance PSFs from a legal-normative view: ‘the definitions of rights and obligations among critical constituencies and how that plays into the nature of conflict resolution mechanisms built into PSF governance’ (p.190). They argued that taking such a legal normative view approach was important to broadening our understanding of governance in PSFs.

Peter Sherer wrote:

Huseyin was excited to write this paper. The notion of a legal-normative view of governance was central to Huseyin’s thinking. It captured the critical role of the firm as an institution, with its rules, norms, conventions and the like, which were missing from extant views of governance. It also allowed for examining a much larger range of relationships than the dominant perspectives did. Huseyin was clear that this was not a stakeholder view but instead a perspective that brought meaning to what constitutes the firm. We worked a lot on this paper and had great discussions about what we wanted to say with it. The paper was written specifically about governance in PSFs, but Huseyin and I believed the proposed legal-normative perspective spoke more broadly to understanding governance in many different forms of organizations.


The evolution of professional careers 

Among his many interests in the context of professionals and their work, Huseyin was interested in changes and influences on professional career structures. According to Young-Chul Jeong, a coauthor in this area, Huseyin was interested in the construction of professional careers within specific professional and organizational communities, and viewed these careers as social artifacts providing information about historical circumstances of given times and given places in the system of professions (Jeong and Leblebici 2017). To address this issue, they studied how the career profiles of law school deans evolved under changing historical conditions in the USA from the late 19th century to recent times (Jeong, Leblebici, and Kwon 2015). They asked what distinct field level forces identified in institutional and ecological perspectives explain the changes in time. They examined the tensions between professionalization of legal education as a homogenizing force in deans’ career profiles and the tremendous growth and attendant diversity in law schools as a force driving heterogeneity. They conducted the study looking at the professional career profiles of 1,396 deans in American law schools from 1894 to 2009. The study is both historical and quantitative and looks to the context of law school deans, one that has been overlooked in the research on professions and organizations. It shows how the two macro-level forces conflict among themselves and also how these forces link to the more micro-level process of individual professional careers.

Young-Chul Jeong adds that Huseyin’s work on professional careers contributes to our understanding of the link between macro field-level transformations and individual professional career profiles and extends research on the dynamics between professional and organizational environments. Huseyin believed that interactive mechanisms between actors and social institutions in today’s knowledge-based economy can be fully understood only if we do not limit ourselves to the abstract study of a knowledgebased economy, but analyze the ways in which those mechanisms are activated through the linked sequences of career movements in people’s work histories.

Hugh Gunz tells of several conversations with Huseyin concerning this professional career project:

Those conversations had me impatiently waiting to see the results, because the study represents a major contribution to the fields both of the professions and of careers. In terms of the latter, it belongs in a long and very distinguished tradition pioneered by Everett Hughes and his colleagues at Chicago, who drew to our attention the way that careers are both the products of, and create, the institutions in which they happen. Huseyin’s approach to the study of career is one the field badly needs and has seen far too little of. That we have lost the opportunity for more from him on this is just one of so many reasons to mourn the loss of this wonderful man, who had so much yet to contribute. Huseyin’s contributions to the study of organizations and professions cover a lot of territory; his was a major and seminal voice in those fields.

From contested professional logics to hybrid organizations: the emergence of alternative litigation financing firms in the USA, 2007–16

Our final example of Huseyin’s pushing the boundaries of the field is presented at the EGOS and PSF conferences in July, 2017 (Kim and Leblebici 2017a, b) in his work with Hyunsun Kim on alternative litigation financing (ALF). This work proved to be Huseyin’s last conference presentations. The core project was a historical case study about the emergence and growth of ALF firms in the USA, and explored how new organizational forms are institutionalized in a hybrid space where multiple professional logics are contested. They identified three stages in these processes; and the primary finding was that the discourse in each period has distinctive elements, professional origins, and implications. 

Hyunsun Kim relates that he and Huseyin had learnt about the ALF phenomenon, which evoked an interest in the topic of entrepreneurship in the confluence of multiple professions where each profession comes with established expectations and norms. Huseyin thought a great deal about entrepreneurial activity, and was involved in several other projects on how new things (i.e., new categories, new organizational forms, or new professional practices) emerge. He saw the value of studying an ongoing case where the consequence—success or failure—of the entrepreneurial work is not known, thus freeing the researchers from retrospective bias. Kim maintains that Huseyin’s interests in the discourse and narratives are also reflected in this work, emphasizing the ‘story’ and ‘narrative’ aspects of the research as well:

Often after carefully listening to what I prepared for our meeting, he would ask me:‘so, what’s your story?’ It took a while for me to really understand and respond to that question, and I still think about it a lot. Huseyin was exemplary in various ways, but he himself was a very good storyteller, which showed in his writing, presentations, and even in a meeting where he would tell me a convincing story with a piece of insight and wisdom.


Looking back at Huseyin’s career in our focus on his contribution to research on professions and organizations, we cannot help but be awed by the breadth and depth of his contributions as a scholar. Huseyin’s life-long interest in studying variety, breaks from conventions, and alternative organizational forms naturally paralleled the diversity in his own thinking and research. Huseyin was a deep thinker; he thought long and hard about issues, and he was never content to accept that which was convenient, popular, or conventional wisdom. Huseyin’s curiosity was positively infectious; he passed this curiosity on to everyone he worked with. His work and his personal legacy will live on with us. Thus, to bring this brief tribute to an end, we add just a few thoughts concerning Huseyin as a person, mentor, leader, and editor.

First, we were astounded by the quantity and quality of unsolicited messages (see Table 1) received in response to announcements of Huseyin’ passing, revealing the emotional attachment and respect he had engendered among so many people. In preparing to write this essay, we contacted a number of Huseyin’s coauthors and colleagues, and often received quite emotional reminders of our late friend’s character. One example from Jeff Pfeffer: ‘What a truly lovely, gentle, kind, and generous human being.’

In addition to established scholars, Huseyin always made time for graduate students and younger researchers. For example, Rany Salvoldi writes of how Huseyin helped her at her very first conference (EGOS 2017):

I had met Professor Leblebici just once before, but when I arrived at the conference he treated me like a dear friend. He knew it was my first international conference and that I came alone without my supervisor and he made me feel welcome and at ease. He was always so kind to me, accessible and encouraging. His gentleness, his humility and his smiling face impressed me, as well as the natural inspiring and captivating way in which he spoke, presented, and even gave critique ...

Central to Huseyin’s legacy is the role he had in the development of many generations of PhD students. The following quote by Jun Ho Lee captures Huseyin’s approach to advising as well as the affection and esteem felt for him:

As my academic advisor and role model in life, Professor Huseyin Leblebici always inspired me and made me consider what it means to be a scholar. With his insight and wisdom, he always helped me see the big picture. With endless trial and error in my PhD, he encouraged me not to give up and move forward. Sometimes we took a walk together around the quad at the University of Illinois, he shared with me stories in his career and life and encouraged me to be more courageous when I struggled with my work and other issues. I also remember whenever we submitted a paper to a journal or had some achievements to celebrate, we had dinner with a glass of wine at our favorite restaurant in the downtown of Champaign, Illinois. Huseyin, I will miss you and all the moments with you!

Another aspect of Huseyin’s career was his role as an academic leader. He served with distinction in various academic leadership roles for extended terms. His achievements in this area are highlighted by

Table 1. A sample of unsolicited responses from JPO editorial board members to the announcement of Huseyin’s passing 
A great loss for JPO and academia in general 
What a fine ‘gentleman’! I always ‘learned something’ when I chatted with him at various conferences ... 
He always had a smile on his face which had been so encouraging for everyone 
What a terrible loss. He was a lovely guy, and made such a difference to the fields he worked in 
This is heartbreaking news Huseyin was always so supportive and encouraging 
An intellectual giant moved on 
He was a great person and scholar. This is a great loss for his family and for our community 
Huseyin always was kind, engaging, insightful and inclusive. I will surely miss him

Jeffrey R. Brown (Dean, College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): 

Huseyin served with great distinction on our faculty for 38 years ... He was one of our most highly regarded scholars, most effective teachers, and most dedicated servants. Huseyin served as Head of the Department of Business Administration for 10 years. He was the Director of the Office of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship from 1997 to 2003. He has continued to mentor students and take leadership roles in the field, including starting a journal, up to the present.

Finally, as we write this essay for the fifth volume of the Journal of Professions and Organization, we are reminded of Huseyin’s legacy—not only in establishing this research field—but also in launching this important journal. It is in this role that we saw a confluence of Huseyin’s gifts as a scholar, an editor, a leader, a mentor, and a person. Earlier we mentioned his crucial community-building vision that helped to create the ecosystem for this journal to thrive. It is our hope that JPO will continue to thrive in a way that would make Huseyin proud. JPO is a part of Huseyin’s legacy—one of his many contributions, and a significant reminder of what a great person he was.


Brock, D. M., Leblebici, H., and Muzio, D. (2014) ‘Understanding Professionals and Their Workplaces: The Mission of the Journal of Professions and Organization’, Journal of Professions and Organization, 1/1: 1–15. 

DiMaggio, P. J., and Powell, W. W (1983) ‘The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields’, American Sociological Review, 48/2: 147–60. 

Doeringer, P. B., and Piore, M. J. (1971) Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis. Lexington, MA: Heath, Dore. 

Empson, L., ed. (2007) Managing the Modern Law Firm: New Challenges, New Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Fama, E. E., and Jensen, M. C. (1983a) ‘Separation of Ownership and Control’, Journal of Law and Economics, 26: 301–25. 

Fama, E. F., and —— (1983b) ‘Agency Problems and Residual Claims’, Journal of Law and Economics, 26: 327–49. 

Hinings, C. R., and Leblebici, H. (2003) ‘Editorial Introduction to the Special Issue: Knowledge and Professional Organizations’, Organization Studies, 24: 827–30. 

Jeong, Y., and —— (2017) How Professionalization and Organizational Diversity Shape Contemporary Careers: Developing a Typology and Process Model. Working Paper. ——, ——, and Kwon, O. (2015) 

The Evolution of Professional Careers: An Investigation of the Careers of Law School Deans in the US during the 20th Century. Annual People and Organizations Conference, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US. 

Kim, H., and —— (2017a) From Contested Professional Logics to Hybrid Organizations: The Emergence of Alternative Litigation Financing Firms in the US, 2007–2016, EGOS, Copenhagen. 

——, and —— (2017b) The Making of Strange Bedfellows: The Evolution of Alternative Litigation Finance Field and Its Legitimacy in Law and Finance, PSF Conference, Stockholm. 

Kor, Y. Y., and —— (2005) ‘How Do Interdependences among Human-Capital Deployment, Development, and Diversification Strategies Affect Firms’ Financial Ferformance?’, Strategic Management Journal, 26/10: 967–85.

Leblebici, H. (1985) ‘Transactions and Organizational Forms: A Reanalysis’, Organization Studies, 6/2: 97–116.

—— (1990) Nature of Employment and Internal Labor Markets in Professional Organizations. Proceedings of the Forty Third Annual Meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association, December 28–30, Washington, DC, pp. 450–457.

—— (1995) ‘Radio Broadcasters’, in Carroll, G. R., and Hannan, M. T. (eds) Organizations in Industry: Strategy, Structure and Selection, pp 308–31. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

—— (2007) ‘Determining the Value of Legal Knowledge: Billing and Compensation Practices in Law Firms’ in Empson, L. (ed.) Managing the Modern Law Firm: New Challenges, New Perspectives, pp. 117–140. Oxford: Oxford University Press

—— (2012) ‘The Evolution of Alternative Business Models and the Legitimization of Universal Credit Card Industry: Exploring the Contested Terrain Where History and Strategy Meet’, in History and Strategy (Vol. 29, pp. 117–151). (Advances in Strategic Management; Vol. 29). DOI: 10.1108/S0742-3322.

—— et al. (1991) ‘Institutional Change and the Transformation of Interorganizational Fields: An Organizational History of the US Radio Broadcasting Industry’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 36/3: 333–63.

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