His 1996 book, Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses and the Social Organization of Ethics, won the Eliot Freidson Prize in 1998 for the best book in the preceding two years in medical sociology from the American Sociological Association. He is also the winner of the ASA's Theory Prize for his work on organizational excellence. Chambliss is also the author of Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers, which was named the 1991 Book of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee, and co-author, with Russell Schutt of Making Sense of the Social World, a research methods textbook currently in its fourth edition. He was appointed to the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professorship in 2005. Chambliss is co-author with Christopher Takacs '05 of How College Works, published in January 2014 by Harvard University Press.