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Chapter 8: Circulating Ideas: Imitation, Translation and Editing
Early institutional theoretical development grew out of the observations that formal organizational structures become increasingly complex as new organizations emerge and as existing organizations incorporate new practices and procedures. Such elaborated formal organizational structures, Meyer and Rowan (1977) convincingly showed, cannot be understood as devices for enhanced coordination and control, but reflect societal institutions, or rational myths. These basic notions were summarized in one paragraph of the seminal paper of 1977:
The growth of rationalized institutional structures in society makes formal organizations more common and more elaborate. Such institutions are myths which make formal organizations both easier to create and more necessary. After all, the building blocks for organizations come to be littered around the ...