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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2015

Malcolm Rutherford

This paper is an initial attempt to discuss the American institutionalist movement as it changed and developed after 1945. Institutionalism in the inter-war period was a…

Abstract

This paper is an initial attempt to discuss the American institutionalist movement as it changed and developed after 1945. Institutionalism in the inter-war period was a relatively coherent movement held together by a set of general methodological, theoretical, and ideological commitments (Rutherford, 2011). Although institutionalism always had its critics, it came under increased attack in the 1940s, and faced challenges from Keynesian economics, a revived neoclassicism, econometrics, and from new methodological approaches derived from various versions of positivism. The institutionalist response to these criticisms, and particularly the criticism that institutionalism “lacked theory,” is to be found in a variety of attempts to redefine institutionalism in new theoretical or methodological terms. Perhaps the most important of these is to be found in Clarence Ayres’ The Theory of Economic Progress (1944), although there were many others. These developments were accompanied by a significant amount of debate, disagreement, and uncertainty over future directions. Some of this is reflected in the early history of The Association for Evolutionary Economics.

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Christopher W. J. Steele, Madeline Toubiana and Royston Greenwood

The core goal of the “micro-foundational” agenda appears to be less an institutionalism founded in the micro, or reduced to the micro, and more some form of integrative…

Abstract

The core goal of the “micro-foundational” agenda appears to be less an institutionalism founded in the micro, or reduced to the micro, and more some form of integrative institutionalism: that is, an institutionalism that does justice to the perpetual, co-constitutive interplay of local activities (the micro) and trans-local patterns (the macro). In this chapter, thus, the authors argue for a conscious, explicit embrace of integrative institutionalism; and of the broader agenda that this terminology opens up. Based on this overdue rewording the authors highlight additional problems and possibilities – providing a constructive reformulation and elaboration of the “micro-foundational” agenda as it currently stands.

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Book part
Publication date: 29 September 2015

Yuzhuo Cai and Yohannes Mehari

Institutional theory has arguably become a popular and powerful explanatory tool for studying various organisational issues, including those in the context of higher…

Abstract

Institutional theory has arguably become a popular and powerful explanatory tool for studying various organisational issues, including those in the context of higher education. However, little is known about the efforts of higher education researchers in tracing the development of organisational institutionalism and applying the theory in their research for a better understanding of the nature of universities and colleges. The purpose of this chapter is thus to fill the gaps by analysing nine leading higher education journals. The results indicate that the application of institutional theory in higher education research is dominated by the concepts of new institutionalism developed in the 1970s and 1980s. In spite of a growing tendency to utilise the recently developed insights of institutional theory in higher education studies, the full potential of institutional theory has not been fully exploited by higher education researchers. We therefore propose some directions for further institutional analysis in higher education studies.

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Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-287-0

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Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2004

Steven G. Medema

The very subject of this roundtable and published symposium suggests that there is something going on, some smoke, here – that there is some distinction that scholars past…

Abstract

The very subject of this roundtable and published symposium suggests that there is something going on, some smoke, here – that there is some distinction that scholars past and present have found it useful to make, legitimately or not, between American institutionalism on the one hand and, say, classical, neoclassical, Keynesian, and Austrian economics in the interwar period. One problem, of course, is that examining how “x” is different from “y” requires a specification of both what constitutes “x” and what constitutes “y.” Put another way, figuring out what constitutes “institutionalism” simultaneously requires defining “not institutionalism,” both in toto and its constituent elements. This is not an easy task when even the question of what it means to be “Keynesian” admits to no small number of (or even consistent) answers. And indeed, one could just as well ask whether “neoclassical” is useful as an historiographic category during this period.1

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-089-0

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Michael Lounsbury, Deborah A. Anderson and Paul Spee

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and…

Abstract

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and institution in organization studies. As we highlight, this interface has spurred particularly generative conversations with many open questions, and much to explore. We provide a review of scholarly developments in practice theory and organizational institutionalism that have given rise to this interest in building a bridge between scholarly communities. As signaled by recent efforts to construct a practice-driven institutionalism, we highlight how connecting practice theory with the institutional logics perspective provides a particularly attractive focal point for scholarship at this interface due to a variety of shared ontological and epistemological commitments, including the constitution of actors and their behavior. Collectively, the papers assembled unlock exciting opportunities to connect distinct, but related scholarly communities on practice and institution, seeding scholarship that can advance our understanding of organizational and societal dynamics.

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On Practice and Institution: New Empirical Directions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-416-5

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Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2010

Brian Rowan

My intent in this chapter is not to review this ever-expanding body of work, which now encompasses all sorts of “new” institutionalisms applied to micro-, meso-, and…

Abstract

My intent in this chapter is not to review this ever-expanding body of work, which now encompasses all sorts of “new” institutionalisms applied to micro-, meso-, and macro-levels of social analysis in a wide variety of fields. Rather, I propose to stay a narrower course, focusing on the “new” organizational institutionalism that emerged at Stanford in the 1970s. To a considerable extent, this focus excludes from sustained attention the growth of world polity theory, a body of work that is closely aligned to organizational institutionalism, but that was developed somewhat independently of Scott by Meyer and his associates (for an excellent, short overview of this line of work, see Jepperson, 2002; otherwise, see Meyer et al., 1997 or Meyer, 2000). In focusing on organizational institutionalism, I will add only marginally to what has already been written. My first task will be to describe the earliest developments of this form of analysis in the 1970s and early 1980s at Stanford, since describing how research programs in organizational studies got founded at Stanford is a major theme of the present volume. After that, I will advance some ideas about how and why this research program became so influential, in so many fields of study.

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Stanford's Organization Theory Renaissance, 1970–2000
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-930-5

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Tim Hallett and Amelia Hawbaker

The “micro” turn in institutional research is a welcome development in a field that has commonly adopted a macro approach to the study of institutions. Nevertheless…

Abstract

The “micro” turn in institutional research is a welcome development in a field that has commonly adopted a macro approach to the study of institutions. Nevertheless, research in the emergent “microinstitutional” tradition often ignores a fundamental social form: social interaction. The goal of this chapter is to bring this form of society back into institutional analysis, as a key mesocomponent of an “inhabited institutional” approach. The authors argue that social interactions are vital to the understandings of institutions, how they operate, and their impact on society. The authors advance inhabited institutionalism as a mesosociological approach that is consistent with key premises of institutional theory.

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Michael Lounsbury, Deborah A. Anderson and Paul Spee

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and…

Abstract

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and institution in organization studies. As we highlight, this interface has spurred particularly generative conversations with many open questions, and much to explore. We provide a review of scholarly developments in practice theory and organizational institutionalism that have given rise to this interest in building a bridge between scholarly communities. As signaled by recent efforts to construct a practice-driven institutionalism, we highlight how connecting practice theory with the institutional logics perspective provides a particularly attractive focal point for scholarship at this interface due to a variety of shared ontological and epistemological commitments, including the constitution of actors and their behavior. Collectively, the papers assembled unlock exciting opportunities to connect distinct, but related scholarly communities on practice and institution, seeding scholarship that can advance our understanding of organizational and societal dynamics.

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On Practice and Institution: Theorizing the Interface
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-413-4

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Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2004

Ross B. Emmett

From the work of Veblen (1909) forward, a number of American economists found it useful to use the terms “institutions,” “institutional,” or “institutionalism” to describe…

Abstract

From the work of Veblen (1909) forward, a number of American economists found it useful to use the terms “institutions,” “institutional,” or “institutionalism” to describe the object of their study, the method of their study, or the school of thought to which they belonged. Acknowledging the centrality that these terms have in the work of these economists seems to me to be an essential part of my work as a historian concerned with providing historical reconstructions. That is, if I wish to provide an account of their work that these thinkers could at least in principle agree with, I will probably need to use the term institutionalism.

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-089-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2003

Milan Zafirovski

The rediscovery and analytical reconstitution are present tendencies in much of social science, especially economics and sociology. The emergence and expansion of the…

Abstract

The rediscovery and analytical reconstitution are present tendencies in much of social science, especially economics and sociology. The emergence and expansion of the so‐called new institutional economics exemplify these tendencies as do attempts at revival and rehabilitation of the old institutional economics. Analogous tendencies have been manifested in sociology by the further development of economic sociology, especially by various reformulations of its classical premise of institutional structuration and embeddedness of economic behavior. Nevertheless, much of mainstream economics tends to neglect or play down certain salient divergences between the latter's neoclassical or orthodox institutionalism, and heterodox or critical institutionalism advanced by the old institutional economics as well as by economic sociology. Identifies and elaborates such divergences between these seemingly homologous varieties of institutionalism. Since institutionalist varieties and tendencies in both economics and sociology are considered, represents a contribution to an interdisciplinary treatment of social institutions, a treatment originally proposed by the old institutional economics of Veblen et al., the German historical school as well as by Weberian‐Durkheimian classical economic sociology.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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