Institutional Work: Actors and Agency in Institutional by Thomas B. Lawrence, Roy Suddaby, Bernard Leca

By Thomas B. Lawrence, Roy Suddaby, Bernard Leca

The 'institutional' method of organizational study has proven how enduring positive factors of social existence - equivalent to marriage and paperwork - act as mechanisms of social keep an eye on. Such ways have usually targeted cognizance at the relationships among companies and the fields within which they function, supplying robust money owed of the procedures during which associations govern motion. by contrast, the learn of institutional paintings reorients those conventional issues, moving the focal point to knowing how motion impacts associations. This e-book units a study schedule in the box of institutional paintings through interpreting the ways that contributors, teams, and firms paintings to create, keep, and disrupt the associations that constitution their lives. via a chain of essays and case experiences, it explores the conceptual middle of institutional paintings, identifies institutional paintings thoughts, presents exemplars for destiny empirical learn, and embeds the concept that inside broader sociological debates and concepts.

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We then highlight the necessity to address the paradox of embedded agency and we review studies that have done so. e. field-level and organization-level enabling conditions) for agency and thereby institutional work. Finally, we propose to adopt a relational perspective (Emirbayer, 1997) that accounts for the ongoing interactions between individual actors and the institutional environment in which they are embedded. Relying on this relational perspective and on a multidimensional view of agency (Emirbayer & Mische, 1998), we distinguish between different types of institutional work.

Analyzing patterns of social change within different historical contexts and the conditions that gave rise to the variations among these patterns, Eisenstadt (1980: 848) proposed that institutional entrepreneurs were one variable – among a “constellation” of others – that was relevant to the process of social change. In Eisenstadt’s work, institutional entrepreneurs are those individuals and groups who adopt leadership roles in episodes of institution building (Colomy, 1998). By introducing the notion of institutional entrepreneurship in the framework of neo-institutional theory, DiMaggio (1988) put more emphasis on the role of actors and agency in institutional change processes: “New institutions arise when organized actors with sufficient resources (institutional entrepreneurs) see in them an opportunity to realize interests that they value highly” (DiMaggio, 1988: 14, emphasis in original).

Comparative Studies in Society and History, 26(1): 126–166. Perrow, C. (1985) Review essay: overboard with myth and symbols. American Journal of Sociology, 91(1): 151–155. Phillips, N. & Malhotra, N. (2008) Taking social construction seriously: extending the discursive approach in institutional theory. In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, K. Sahlin & R. ), Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, pp. 702–720. London: Sage. , Lawrence, T. B. & Hardy, C. (2004) Discourse and institutions. Academy of Management Review, 29(4): 635–652.

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