"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.
Chapter 16: Beyond Constraint: How Institutions Enable Identities
Beyond Constraint: How Institutions Enable Identities
In this chapter, I take a perspective on institutional theory that moves beyond constraint. I look at how institutions enable organizational identity construction by supplying a set of possible legitimate identity elements with which to construct, give meaning to, and legitimize identities and identity symbols. Institutionalism offers a process model of transformational mechanisms that explicates how macro-level, interorganizational influences situate and shape organizational identities. It can account for the regularity or patterning of identity markers (or symbols) across organizations within an organizational field. As well, it offers a dynamic framework on organizational identity construction which explains how organizations may adapt their identities so as to align with sanctioned norms and practices so as to ...