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  • 1.
    Ahrne, Göran
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Castillo, Daniel
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Queues: tensions between institution and organization2019In: Organization outside organizations: The abundance of partial organization in social life / [ed] Göran Ahrne, Nils Brunsson, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019, p. 177-188Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The formation of queues is an institution: it is created and managed largely by the emergent norms of those in the queue. Research on queues has demonstrated that it is more and more common for organizations to intervene in the ordering of queues. In this chapter we investigate why and how queues are organized and the tensions that arise when a strong institution becomes the subject of partial organization. As an institution, the idea of how to form a queue has strong legitimacy resting on commonly accepted values of equality and fairness. The fact that a queue is organized with one or several organizational elements does not necessarily mean that the queue as an institution is replaced by organization; on the contrary, organizational decisions may support the queue as an institution. In other cases, however, organization is a challenge to the legitimacy of the queue; instead it is the organization that uses its power to further its own interest in selecting the preferred customers from a larger number of people standing in a line. When an organization decides the order in which people are admitted, little remains of the institution of the queue.

  • 2. Bursell, Moa
    et al.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    After the algorithms: A study of meta-algorithmic judgments and diversity in the hiring process at a large multisite company2024In: Big Data and Society, E-ISSN 2053-9517, Vol. 11, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, both private and public organizations across contexts have begun implementing AI technologies in their recruitment processes. This transition is typically justified by improved efficiency as well as more objective, performance-based ranking, and inclusive selection of job candidates. However, this rapid development has also raised concerns that the use of these emerging technologies will instead increase discrimination or enhance the already existing inequality. In the present study, we first develop the concept of meta-algorithmic judgment to understand how recruiting managers may respond to automation of the hiring process. Second, we draw on this concept in the empirical assessment of the actual consequences of this type of transition by drawing on two large and unique datasets on employment records and job applications from one of Sweden's largest food retail companies. By comparing the outcomes of traditional and algorithmic job recruitment during this technological transition, we find that, contrary to the company's intentions, algorithmic recruitment decreases diversity. However, in contrast to what is often assumed, this is primarily not because the algorithms are biased, but because of what we identify as an unintended human–algorithmic interaction effect.

  • 3.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Academic judgments under uncertainty: A study of collective anchoring effects in Swedish Research Council panel groups2017In: Social Studies of Science, ISSN 0306-3127, E-ISSN 1460-3659, Vol. 47, no 1, p. 95-116Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on anchoring effects in the process of peer reviewing research proposals. Anchoring effects are commonly seen as the result of flaws in human judgment, as cognitive biases that stem from specific heuristics that guide people when they involve their intuition in solving a problem. Here, the cognitive biases will be analyzed from a sociological point of view, as interactional and aggregated phenomena. The article is based on direct observations of ten panel groups evaluating research proposals in the natural and engineering sciences for the Swedish Research Council. The analysis suggests that collective anchoring effects emerge as a result of the combination of the evaluation techniques that are being used (grading scales and average ranking) and the efforts of the evaluators to reach consensus in the face of disagreements and uncertainty in the group. What many commentators and evaluators have interpreted as an element of chance in the peer review process may also be understood as partly a result of the dynamic aspects of collective anchoring effects. 

  • 4.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Akademiska omdömen under osäkerhet: en studie av kollektiva ankringseffekter i Vetenskapsrådets beredningsgrupper2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The main focus of this study concerns the existence of anchoring effects in the peer review process of research proposals. According to the psychological theory of anchoring effects, once an anchor (represented by a number) is set, other judgments are made by adjusting away from the anchor, and there is a common human tendency toward interpreting other information around the anchor. This effect is commonly seen as a general flaw in human judgment, a cognitive bias that stems from a specific heuristic that guides people when they involve their intuition in order to solve a problem. In the following study, this cognitive bias will be analysed from a sociological point of view, that is, as a collective phenomenon rather than an individual one. It will also be applied to a new empirical case, the peer review process of research proposals. The anchoring effects have here been investigated using a meeting ethnographic approach. The evidence comes from direct observations of ten panel groups at the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). The analysis suggest that collective anchoring effects emerge as a result of the combination of the evaluation techniques that are being used (grading scales and middle ranking) and the efforts of the evaluators to reach consensus. The author suggests that what many commentators and evaluators have earlier interpreted as a certain proportion of chance in the peer review process, might instead be better understood as anchoring effects.

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  • 5.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Att skola unga forskare till framgångsrika entreprenörer i högskolans tjänst: en studie om forskningsfinansiering, legitimitetsskapande och symboliskt våld2015Report (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is based on observations from a short seminar series that were held at a Swedish university on the topic of how to write successful research proposals. In an attempt to present a view of “how professors think” about peer review and research funding, several universities has in recent years organized seminars where senior scholars talk about how to write successful grant proposals. The seminars are a practical response to the changing nature of research funding in general, and to the fact that Swedish universities has become a kind of “entrepreneurial universities” with an external pressure to be highly competitive and productive.

    The results of the analysis suggest that the message being delivered to the young scholars in the audience is quite ambivalent. Although the organization and the speakers seem genuinely sincere in their wish to guide the new generation of scholars, the performances contain at the same time a gentle form of symbolic violence. One of the hypotheses put forward in this paper is that this seminar series is only a minor aspect of a more general crisis of legitimacy within Swedish academia concerning issues of funding. It is also suggested that these seminars play a vital part in the socialization process of the new generation of scholars, a socialization process that normalizes the meaning and the consequences of the precarious and uncertain conditions of today’s academic life.

  • 6.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Blind Luck – Could lotteries be a more efficient mechanism for allocating research funds than peer review?2019Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Peer review is integral to the award of funds for academic research. However, as an increasingly large number of researchers attempt to secure limited funding, it is clear that much funding is awarded based on marginal assessments of the quality of different proposals. In this post, Lambros Roumbanis argues that randomly awarding research funding via lotteries presents a more rational, efficient and most importantly unbiased means of distributing research funding.

  • 7.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Den akademiska etiken och entreprenörhögskolans anda2016In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, E-ISSN 2002-066X, Vol. 53, no 1, p. 75-86Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Disagreement and Agonistic Chance in Peer Review2022In: Science, Technology and Human Values, ISSN 0162-2439, E-ISSN 1552-8251, Vol. 47, no 6, p. 1302-1333Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of grant peer review is to identify the most excellent and pro- mising research projects. However, sociologists of science and STS scholars have shown that peer review tends to promote solid low-risk projects at the expense of more original and innovative projects that often come with higher risk. It has also been shown that the review process is affected by significant measures of chance. Against this background, the aim of this study is to the- orize the notions of academic judgment and agonistic chance and to present and analyze situations in which expert reviewers are faced with the challenge of trying to decide which grant proposals to select when there is strong dis- agreement. The empirical analysis is based on ethnographic observations of ten panel groups at the Swedish Research Council in the areas of natural and engineering sciences. By focusing on disagreement, the study provides a more in-depth understanding of how agonistic chance creeps into the peer-review process and becomes part of the consensus that is created.

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  • 9.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Disagreements in scientific peer review: challenges and opportunities2021Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Forskningsfinansiering med hjälp av slumpen? En studie av peer review och lotteri som två olika urvalsmetoder vid fördelning av anslag2019In: Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-0747, Vol. 121, no 1, p. 23-44Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research financing with the help of chance? A study of peer review and lottery as two different selection methods for the distribution of research funds Peer review is a cornerstone of modern science. In the research funding process, the assessment of proposals is a significant factor regarding which ideas and what kind of scientific knowledge that will be furthered. However, peer review of proposals to perform research in the future raises elementary issues of rationality, efficiency, reliability and fairness. In the present paper, I will examine some of the most central problems of peer review and highlight the possible benefits of using a lottery as an alternative decision-making mechanism. The rather bold argument made in the paper is that the epistemic landscape could benefit in several respects by using random selection, thus avoiding all types of bias and other limitations associated with peer review. The benefits of a lottery would not only be that it saves time and resources, but also that it contributes to a more dynamic selection process and increases the epistemic diversity and impartiality within the academic world.

  • 11.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Kierkegaard and the blind spot of sociology2010In: Perspectives: Newsletter of the ASA Theory Section, Vol. 32, no 1Article, review/survey (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Kierkegaard och sociologins blinda fläck2010Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this dissertation is to discuss the scope as well as the limits of sociological theory. This project is undertaken with the help of Søren Kierkegaard and his unique interpretation of human existence. Taking as its point of departure the existential reality of the single individual (den Enkelte), this study also addresses the fundamental question posed by Georg Simmel, “How is society possible?” It is argued that an answer to this question needs to take into account the existential concepts of choice, authenticity, subjectivity, anxiety, faith, and responsibility. 

    The strategy – and the implicit method – of this study is to start out from the single individual and gradually move towards society, culture and history. After addressing some theories of everyday life, such as social phenomenology and dramaturgical theory, the investigation moves on to the central sociological problem of how to construct a synthetic theory of the relation between man and society. The final theory to be discussed is the social theory of Jean-Paul Sartre, which can be seen as a reformulation and modification of the Kierkegaardian perspective, now set in dialectical relation to society and history.

    The main argument of the thesis is that the message that can be found in Kierkegaard’s writings represents both a reminder and a challenge to every sociological project which seeks to achieve a synthesis between individual existence and social reality. Sociological theories can neither account for the existence of the single individual in an exhaustive manner, nor fully integrate this existence into some social system. It is impossible to reduce the existence of individuals to some socially and culturally given lifeworld, because authentic faith and infinite passion constitute an inner experience that is largely hidden from the sociologist observer. A sociological incompleteness theorem is proposed, which states that sociological theories are simply incapable of dealing with certain aspects of human existence. These aspects are, from an ontological point of view, unsettled and not social in nature. This theorem can also be expressed so that there exists a blind spot in every sociological theory that tries to account systematically for the single individual. By focussing attention on the existential tension between choice and inner experience, the sociologist can however push the limits for what can be accomplished with the help of sociological theory.

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  • 13.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    New Arguments for a pure lottery in Research Funding: A Sketch for a Future Science Policy Without Time-Consuming Grant Competitions2023In: Minerva, ISSN 0026-4695, E-ISSN 1573-1871Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A critical debate has blossomed within the field of research policy, science and technology studies, and philosophy of science regarding the possible benefits and limitations of allocating extramural grants using a lottery system. The most common view among those supporting the lottery idea is that some form of modified lottery is acceptable, if properly combined with peer review. This means that partial randomization can be applied only after experts have screened the pursuit-worthiness of all submitted proposals and sorted out those of lowest quality. In the present paper, I will argue against the use of partial lotteries or partial randomization and instead promote use of a pure lottery in combination with a radical increase in block funding. The main reason for holding this position is that a partial lottery cannot solve the problems inherent in the current funding system, which is based on grant competitions and peer review. A partial lottery cannot decrease the enormous time-waste, reduce the uneven distribution of time between researchers, neutralize expert biases or mitigate academic power asymmetries. Instead, we need a stronger focus on improving general time management in academia by implementing a more holistic model for organizing research opportunities in the future.

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  • 14.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Peer Review or Lottery? A Critical Analysis of Two Different Forms of Decision-making Mechanisms for Allocation of Research Grants2019In: Science, Technology and Human Values, ISSN 0162-2439, E-ISSN 1552-8251, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 994-1019Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    At present, peer review is the most common method used by funding agencies to make decisions about resource allocation. But how reliable, efficient, and fair is it in practice? The ex ante evaluation of scientific novelty is a fundamentally uncertain endeavor; bias and chance are embedded in the final outcome. In the current study, I will examine some of the most central problems of peer review and highlight the possible benefits of using a lottery as an alternative decision-making mechanism. Lotteries are driven by chance, not reason. The argument made in the study is that the epistemic landscape could benefit in several respects by using a lottery, thus avoiding all types of bias, disagreement, and other limitations associated with the peer review process. Funding agencies could form a pool of funding applicants who have minimal qualification levels and then select randomly within that pool. The benefits of a lottery would not only be that it saves time and resources, but also that it contributes to a more dynamic selection process and increases the epistemic diversity, fairness, and impartiality within academia.

  • 15.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    [Reviewer Report] Comments by Roumbanis to Conix, De Block and Vaesen (2021) “Grant writing and grant peer review as questionable research practices”2021Other (Other academic)
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  • 16.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Status hierarchies, gender bias and disrespect: Ethnographic observations from the Swedish Research Council review panel groups2024In: The Social Production of Research: Perspectives on funding and gender / [ed] Sandra Acker; Oili-Helena Ylijoki; Michelle K. McGinn, London: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)/Routledge , 2024, p. 159-172Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Status as been described as an ancient form of social inequality that interpenetrates modern meritocratic institutions, including research and higher education. Status is a multifaceted social phenomenon that can affect the relations between people in many different ways. Despite political and normative changes that promote equal treatment of men and women, deep-rooted gender biases still exist as integral parts of the creation of status hierarchies in academic life. In this chapter, I illustrate this argument using a number of concrete situations from the Swedish Research Council panel groups in which some male reviewers responded with disrespect to the arguments presented by their female colleagues. The analysis is intended to shed new light on the social dramaturgy of gender-based status inequalities in the grant peer review process. It is unusual in putting the emphasis on the panellists’ detailed interactions rather than on the efforts to encourage gender equality in competition results through rule-changes and other prescriptive means. Moreover, it reveals the intersectionality of gender, age and esteem in shaping the behaviour of panellists.

  • 17.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Symbolic Violence in Academic Life: A Study on How Junior Scholars are Educated in the Art of Getting Funded2019In: Minerva, ISSN 0026-4695, E-ISSN 1573-1871, Vol. 57, no 2, p. 197-218Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely recognized that universities all around Europe have taken on a more market-oriented approach that has changed the core of academic work life. This has led to a precarious situation for many junior scholars, who have to seek research funding to cover their own wages in an increasingly fierce competition over scarce resources. Thus, at present, research funding is a Gordian knot that must be cut by each individual researcher. As a response to this situation, some Swedish universities provide guidance to junior scholars on how to navigate in an increasingly entrepreneurial academia through open lectures by senior and successful professors. In this paper, I study these lectures as socialization processes and the role of symbolic violence in the justification of a competitive academic work ethos as well as a pragmatic acceptance of the prevailing funding conditions. The aim is to explore the role of a subtle form of power wielding that is not immediately understood or recognized as power, but that nonetheless reproduces a market-like behavior and legitimizes a career system marked by uncertainty, shortcomings and contradictions.

  • 18.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    The oracles of science: On grant peer review and competitive funding2021In: Social Science Information, ISSN 0539-0184, E-ISSN 1461-7412, Vol. 60, no 3, p. 356-362Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    From a purely epistemological point of view, evaluating and predicting the future success of new research projects is often considered very difficult. Is it possible to forecast important findings and breakthrough in science, and if not, then what is the point trying to do it anyway? Still, that is what funding agencies all over the world expect their reviewers to do, but a number of previous studies has shown that this form of evaluation of innovation, promise and future impact are a fundamentally uncertain and arbitrary practice. This is the context that I will discuss in the present essay, and I will claim that there is a deeply irrational element embedded in today's heavy reliance on experts to screen, rank and select among the increasing numbers of good research projects, because they can, in principal, never discern the true potential behind the written proposals. Hence, I think it is motivated to see grant peer review as an 'oracle of science'. My overall focus will be on the limits of competitive funding and also that the writing and reviewing of proposals is a waste of researchers' precious time. And I will propose that we really need to develop new ways of thinking about how we organize research and distribute opportunities within academia.

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  • 19.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Tvetydigheter, oenighet och slumpens diskreta inflytande i peer review processen2020Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Den moderna vetenskapen genomsyras av kollegial bedömning – peer review – som på olika sätt fungerar som en intern granskningsprocedur. När anslag ska fördelas till nya forskningsprojekt spelar denna sakkunnighetsbaserade instans en central roll i att generera kollektiviserade beslut. Bedömningen av forskningsansökningars kvalitet har dock visat sig innehålla ett ganska stort mått av tvetydigheter och slump som på ett ofrånkomligt sätt inverkar på de beslutsunderlag som skapas. Trots att peer review kretsar kring att de sakkunniga tillsammans eftersträvar konsensus, präglas denna konsensus likväl av stora variationer och oenighet om hur vissa ansökningar ska värderas. Genom att närmare studera hur oenighet kommer till uttryck och hanteras inom olika beredningsgrupper är det emellertid möjligt att få en fördjupad förståelse för den subtila relationen mellan slump och konsensus i peer review processen.

    Följande studie baseras på observationer gjorda på tio av Vetenskapsrådets beredningsgrupper inom natur- och teknikvetenskaper. Den metodologiska utgångspunkten som valts består i att illustrera ett antal fall av oenighet, för att därigenom belysa skillnaderna i hur man kom fram till en praktisk lösning. En problematik som särskilt kommer beröras har att göra med det faktum att oenighet påfallande ofta leder till att bedömarna slår ut varandras favoritansökningar. Detta tar i sin tur på den mer övergripande frågan om hur den enskildes expertkänsla i vissa situationer ställs i direkt motsättning till gruppens samlade expertis, något som kanske inte alltid medför de mest tillfredställande besluten i termer av innovation och risk.

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  • 20.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Two dogmas of peer-reviewism2020In: Journal of Responsible Innovation, ISSN 2329-9460, E-ISSN 2329-9037, Vol. 7, no S2, p. S129-S133Article in journal (Refereed)
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  • 21.
    Roumbanis, Lambros
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Willy Kyrklund: längtan, strukturer och vanmakt2015In: Sociologi genom litteratur: skönlitteraturens möjligheter och samhällsvetenskapens begränsningar / [ed] Christofer Edling & Jens Rydgren, Lund: Arkiv förlag & tidskrift, 2015, p. 201-211Chapter in book (Other academic)
1 - 21 of 21
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