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Professor Laszlo Polos, MSc, MPhil, PhD

Professor of Organisational Theory/Director, Durham DBA in the Business School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 45290
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 45201
Room number: MHL 368

Contact Professor Laszlo Polos (email at


Lászlo graduated in mathematics and physics from the Loránd Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary in 1980 and in philosophy in 1982. He was awarded a PhD in 1995 from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Past appointments include:
Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 2002-2003
Fellow, Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study, 2000-2001
Associate Professor of Organization Theory, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 1999
Associate Professor of Logic, 1998
Szécheny Professor of Applied Logic, Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest, 1998
Assistant Professor of Methodology, University of Amsterdam, 1995
Senior Researcher, Dutch National Science Foundation, 1991
Assistant Professor of Logic, Loránd Eötvös University, Budapest, 1982

Awards and Fellowships
In 2003 Lászlo was awarded American Sociological Association Best Paper Award in Mathematical Sociology (with Michael T Hannon) for 'Reasoning with Partial Knowledge', Sociological Methodology, 32:133-81

Fellowship, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, 2000
Fellow of ERIM, 1999

Mini Biography

Lászlo graduated in mathematics and physics from the Loránd Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary in 1980 and in philosophy in 1982. He was awarded a PhD in 1995 from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Research Groups

Business School

Research Interests

  • Organisation dynamics
  • Organisation ecology
  • Organisation theory


Authored book

Edited book

  • Pólos, L. & Masuch, M. (1996). Applied Logic How, What and Why?. Synthese Library, Klewer Academic Publishers.
  • Pólos, L., Marx, M. & Masuch, M. (1996). Arrow Logic and Multi-Modal Logic. FoLLI and CSLI Publications, Stanford.
  • Pólos, L. & Masuch, M. (1994). Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Under Uncertainty. Springer-Verlag.
  • Pólos, L. & Kálmá&n, L. (1990). Logic and Language. Akadémiai Kiadó.
  • Pólos, L., Bodnár, I. & Máté&, A. (1988). Intensional Logic, History of Philosophy, and Methodology. A Filozófiai Figyelö Kiskönyvtára, Sorozatban.

Journal Article

  • Oord, A.V.D., Elliott, K., Witteloostuijn, A.V., Barlage, M., Polos, L. & Rogiest, S. (2017). A cognitive organization theory of organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management
  • Le Mens, G., Hannan, M. T. & Polos, L. (2015). Age-Related Structural Inertia: A Distance-based Approach. Organization Science 26(3): 756-773.
  • van den Born, A., van Witteloostuijn, A., Barlag, M., Sapulete, S., van den Oord, A., Rogist, S., Vallet, N., Reguli, Z., Vit, M. Mouhanna, C., Binder, H., Blumenthal, V., Christe-Zeyse, J., Giljohann, S., Gruschinske, M., Pautz, H., Stein-Müller, S., Bisogni, F., Costanzo, P., Stojanovski, T., Mirceva, S., Krstevska, K., Rajkovcevski, R., Stamenova, M. Bayerl, S., Horton, K., Jacobs, G., Jochoms, T., Vogel, G. Andrei, D., Baban, A., Chirica, S., Otoiu, C., Ratiu, L., Rus, C., Varga, M., Vonas, G., Alsina, V., Gascó, M. Allen, K., Birdi, K. Betteridge, K., Casey, R., Graham, L. & Polos, L. (2013). Policing opportunities and threats in Europe. Journal of Organizational Change Management 26(5): 811-829.
  • Le Mens, G., Hannan, M.T. & Polos, L. (2011). Founding Condition, Learning and Organizational Life Chances: Age Dependence Revisited. Administrative Science Quarterly 56(1): 95-126.
  • Hsu, G., Hannan, M.T. & Polos, L. (2011). Typecasting, legitimation, and form emergence: A formal theory. Sociological Theory 29(2): 97-123.
  • Polos, L., Hannan, M.T. & Hsu, G. (2010). Modalities in sociological arguments. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 34(3): 201-238.
  • Polos, L., Adner, R., Ryall, M. & Sorenson, O. (2009). The case for formal theory. Academy of Management Review 34(2): 201-208.
  • Jacobs, G., Christe-Zeyse, J., Keegan, A. & Pólos, L. (2008). Reactions to organizational identity threats in times of change: Illustrations from the German police. Corporate Reputation Review 11(3): 245-261.
  • Hannan, MT & Polos, L (2004). A logic for theories in flux. Logique et Analyse 47: 85-121.
  • Hannan, M. T., Pólos, L. & Carroll, G. R. (2004). The evolution of organizational inertia. Industrial and Corporate Change 13: 213-242.
  • Hannan, M. T., Pólos, L. & Carroll, G. R. (2003). Cascading organizational change. Organization Science 14(5): 463-482.
  • Hannan, M. T., Pólos, L. & Carroll, G. R. (2003). The fog of change: opacity and asperity in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 48(3): 399-432.
  • Hannan, M. T., Carroll, G. R. & Pólos, L. (2003). The organizational niche. Sociological Theory 21(4): 309-340.
  • Polos, L., Hannan, M.T. & Carroll, G.R. (2002). Foundations of a theory of social forms. Industrial and Corporate Change 11(1): 85-115.
  • Pólos, L. & Hannan, M.T. (2002). Reasoning with partial knowledge. Sociological Methodology 32(1): 133-181.
  • Péli, G., Pólos, L. & Hannan, M.T. (2000). Back to inertia. Sociological Theory 18: 193-213.
  • Kamps, J. & Pólos, L. (1999). Reducing uncertainty. American Journal of Sociology 104: 1774-1810.
  • Peli, G., Polos, L. & Hannan, M.T. (1999). Szervezeti tehetetlenség. Formalizálási stílusok, elméleti következmények. Szociológiai Figyelö 1: 120-143.
  • Huang, Z., Masuch, M. & Pólos, L. (1996). ALX an action logic for agents with bounded rationality. Artificial Intelligence 82: 75-127.
  • Masuch, M., Bruggeman, J., Kamps, J., Péli, G. & Pólos, L. (1996). What theory is A reaction to Sutton and Staw's essay What a theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly 96-137.
  • Pólos, L. (1995). Logical semantics for deferred information. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 42: 305-323.
  • Pólos, L. (1993). Default rules and deductive closure. Journal of Symbolic Logic 58: 1143-1144.
  • Pólos, L. (1987). A found key. Journal of Symbolic Logic 52(4): 1080.

Working Paper