"It is now three decades since the "new"institutionalism burst on the intellectual scene and a most appropriate time to take stock of missteps, accomplishments, and future directions. This theoretical thrust has revitalized many scholarly arenas across the social sciences, but none more so then organization studies. Royston Greenwood and his co-editors have assembled a stellar stable of scholars who collectively provide a comprehensive assessment if this vibrant field."—W. Richard Scott, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University"Institutional theory has become the dominant conversation in organization theory. In this volume many of its leading exponents show where it is going, what it can do and how it engages with related fields."—Stewart Clegg, Aston Business School and University of Technology, Sydney"This Handbook is "must reading" for any organization and management scholar. It provides a timely and comprehensive update of institutional theory and its relationships with other organization theories."—Andrew H. Van de Ven, Vernon Heath Professor of Organizational Innovation and Change, Carlson School of Management, University of MinnesotaInstitutional theory lies at the heart of organizational theory, yet until now, no book has successfully taken stock of this important and wide ranging theoretical perspective. With insight and clarity, the editors of this handbook have collected and arranged papers so the readers are provided with a map of the field and pointed in the direction of new and emerging themes. The academics who have contributed to this handbook are respected internationally and represent a cross section of expert organization theorists, sociologists and political scientists. Chapters are a rich mix of theory, how to conduct institutional organizational analysis and empirical work.

Microfoundations of Institutional Theory

Microfoundations of institutional theory


For almost two decades, scholars have stressed the need to make the microfoundations of institutional theory more explicit (DiMaggio and Powell, 1991; Zucker, 1991). Curiously, there has been limited progress in this effort, although Barley, Glynn, and Sahlin, in Chapters 8, 16 and 20 in this volume, also remedy this deficit. We think that much analytical purchase can be gained by developing a micro-level component of institutional analysis. Moreover, there are useful building blocks from ethnomethodology to Goffman on interaction rituals to Weick on sensemaking and social psychological research on legitimation that can be drawn upon to contribute to this effort.

We begin by making a case for the benefits of examining micro-processes. We then selectively review the terrain, ...

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