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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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
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…
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.
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…
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.
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.
The rediscovery and analytical reconstitution are present tendencies in much of social science, especially economics and sociology. The emergence and expansion of the…
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.
Purpose – The purpose of this contribution is to clarify some of the institutional approaches in international business research and to identify opportunities to extend…
Purpose – The purpose of this contribution is to clarify some of the institutional approaches in international business research and to identify opportunities to extend research on the role of institutions in international business.
Design/methodology/approach – Building on Douglas North's (1990) analogy of institutions as the rules of the game, we illustrate some of the differences between different institutional approaches in international business (IB) through a discussion of the rules and institutions surrounding the world of association football. We then briefly revisit the recent review by Hotho and Pedersen (2012) and compare and contrast three dominant institutional approaches in international business: new institutional economics, new organizational institutionalism and comparative institutionalism.
Findings – Our discussion illustrates that different institutional approaches address and explain different facets of international firm behaviour. The ways in which institutions matter for international business are therefore greatly dependent on how institutions are conceptualized and measured.
Originality/value – We highlight two recent developments in the literature on institutions which we believe offer important implications and opportunities for international business research. The first development is a move towards less deterministic approach to institutions. The second development is the recognition of institutional plurality and complexity, in the sense that organizations are often exposed to multiple logics with potentially contradictory prescriptions. These notions, we believe, offer important opportunities to advance our understanding of the relations between institutions and multinational enterprises (MNEs).
In 1978, Philip Klein wrote about institutional economists of the Veblen-Commons-Mitchell-Ayres variety:Whatever we call ourselves, we are not given much credit generally…
In 1978, Philip Klein wrote about institutional economists of the Veblen-Commons-Mitchell-Ayres variety: Whatever we call ourselves, we are not given much credit generally among our fellow economists, but I think there is evidence that an ever-wider group of economists has begun to hear what we are saying and to accept a number of our premises…institutionalism must be viewed as either never having died or as being in the process of a resurrection which I suggest will endure (Klein, 1978, p. 252).Klein’s optimism seems justified by the following quote from Joseph Stiglitz’s new book, Globalization and its Discontents: Old-fashioned economics textbooks often talk about market economics as if it had three essential ingredients: prices, private property, and profits. Together with competition, these provide incentives, coordinate economic decision making, ensuring that firms produce what individuals want at the lowest possible cost. But there has also long been a recognition of the importance of institutions (Stiglitz, 2002, p. 139; emphasis in original).Klein and other original institutionalists should be buoyed when they hear such a statement from a recent Nobel Prize winner. One problem, however, is that the “old-fashioned textbooks” are still being published in 2003. The quote also raises a question: just who recognized the importance of institutions and when did they recognize it? Statements such as the above by Stiglitz irk original institutionalists, but why? Is it because he underestimates the prominence of perfect competition in current texts, because he is understating original institutionalists’ positions as “keepers of the faith,” or both? In any case, we may not be able to hoist the V(eblen)-C(ommons) banner and claim total victory but, increasingly, more of economics today is institutional economics. A recent article by Allan Schmid demonstrates that indeed though everyone is not an institutionalist in the Veblen-Commons mold, “good economists find it useful to embrace some of its various elements” (Schmid, 2001, p. 281).