This paper provides an analytical theory of appropriateness judgments that introduces structural dimensions in the study of social rationality of organization members. This approach helps explore the coevolution of members’ relative position in structure and normative choices in their organization. Illustration of this approach is based on the study of controversial judicial decisions and dynamics of advice networks in a courthouse where lay judges have to choose between punitive and nonpunitive awards in cases of unfair competition in business. In this case, coevolution is facilitated by an endogenous process of centralization–decentralization–recentralization of advice networks over time, and by use of a procedural “weak legal culture” that helps align and homogenize conflicting normative choices among organization members. It is suggested that this approach to social rationality helps revisit our understanding of social processes, in this case collective learning and secondary socialization in organizations and flexible labor markets.
I thank Ronald Breiger, Sheldon Stryker, and the anonymous reviewers for stimulating discussions and comments.
Lazega, E. (2014), "Appropriateness and Structure in Organizations: Secondary Socialization Through Dynamics of Advice Networks and Weak Culture", Contemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Networks (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 40), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 381-402. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2014)0000040019
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