Professor Huising’s research focuses on how actors inside organizations, managers and members of professions, respond to pressure from regulators, social movement activists, and management consultants to reorganize. Through ethnographic studies of organizational change initiatives, she analyzes the material and discursive practices through which managers develop the capacity for and, in some cases, the commitment to change but also the ways in which professionals, by controlling knowledge and relationships, may attempt to maintain the status quo. For example, in one project, she studied the implementation of an Environment Management System at a large research university. While Environmental Management Systems are promoted globally as a best practice for managing environmental compliance, few have considered how organizations develop the new capacities and relationships needed to enact this prescription.In particular, she examined how through a protracted struggle the legal and technical knowledge of compliance, held by specialist groups, was transformed and distributed to employees throughout the organization.
Her paper "Governing the Gap: Forging Safe Science Through Relational Regulation" with Susan S. Silbey (MIT) won the W.Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the American Sociological Association and prize for the best article published in Regulation & Governance (2011). She also won the Best Dissertation Paper Prize from the Labor and Employment Relations Association in 2008. Her dissertation research was funded the Martin Family Initiative on Sustainability, the Joseph Juran Centre, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). In 2011, she was awarded a young researcher grant from the "Fonds de Recherche sur la Societé et la Culture" of Quebec (FQRSC).
Ruthanne teaches MGCR 222, Introduction to Organizational Behaviour, and MGCR 421, Managing Organizational Change. In 2009, she was nominated for the Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching; and in 2010 she was awarded the Management Undergraduate Society’s Prize for Professor of the Year.
She received a PhD in Management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008. She holds an MSc in Economics and Philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Alberta.
Prior to pursuing a PhD, she worked as a human resource consultant for W.M. Mercer in Vancouver, Toronto, and Boston and as a statistician for the Workers’ Compensation Board in Yellowknife. As an undergraduate student, she owned and managed a College Pro Painters franchise for two years.