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Book part
Publication date: 26 September 2017

Achim Oberg, Valeska P. Korff and Walter W. Powell

Organizational fields are shaped by both the relations that organizations forge and the language they express. The structure and discourse of organizational fields have…

Abstract

Organizational fields are shaped by both the relations that organizations forge and the language they express. The structure and discourse of organizational fields have been studied before, but seldom in combination. We offer a methodological approach that integrates relations and expressions into a comprehensive visualization.

By mapping networks and discourse as co-constitutive, the method illuminates the mechanisms active in organizational fields. We utilize social impact evaluation as an issue field shaped by the presence of an interstitial community, and compare this structure with simulated alternative field configurations.

The simulations reveal that variation in organizations’ openness to adopting concepts from adjacent meaning systems alters field configurations: differentiation manifests under conditions of low overall openness, whereas moderate receptivity produces hybridizations of discourses and sometimes the emergence of an interstitial community that bridges domains. If certain organizations are open while others remain focused on their original discourse, then we observe integration in the discursive domain of the invariant organizations.

The observations from the simulations are represented by visualizing organizational fields as topographies of meaning, onto which interorganizational relations are layered. This representation localizes organizations and their interactions in a cultural space while emphasizing how meanings of relationships and organizational expressions vary with different field configurations. By adding meaning to network data, the resulting maps open new perspectives for institutional research on the adaptation, translation, and diffusion of concepts.

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Structure, Content and Meaning of Organizational Networks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-433-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Joo Ean Tan and Gideon Sjoberg

Among the master social processes occurring in the modern world have been increased individualization, on the one hand, and the growth of largescale organizations, on the…

Abstract

Among the master social processes occurring in the modern world have been increased individualization, on the one hand, and the growth of largescale organizations, on the other. Unlike most scholars, who emphasize either one or the other, we focus attention upon certain strategic interrelationships between these master processes. We are thus addressing a fundamental sociological issue while at the same time taking development theorizing in a somewhat new direction.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 25 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 26 September 2017

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Structure, Content and Meaning of Organizational Networks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-433-0

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2017

Grégoire Croidieu, Birthe Soppe and Walter W. Powell

We analyze how institutional persistence unfolds. Building on an historical analysis of 3,307 bottle labels in the Bordeaux wine community, France, between 1924 and 2005…

Abstract

We analyze how institutional persistence unfolds. Building on an historical analysis of 3,307 bottle labels in the Bordeaux wine community, France, between 1924 and 2005, we find that the persistence of a chateau tradition requires considerable effort at maintenance. Instead of greater compression and taken-for-grantedness, we propose that expansion along multimodal carriers provides a marker of a deepening institutionalization. We underscore the role of community organizations in enabling a wine tradition to persist. The implications of our findings for institutional theory and multimodality research are discussed.

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Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-332-8

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Leopold Ringel, Petra Hiller and Charlene Zietsma

Boundaries are a popular topic among organizational researchers, many of whom argue that over the past decade we have witnessed a trend toward permeable boundaries and in…

Abstract

Boundaries are a popular topic among organizational researchers, many of whom argue that over the past decade we have witnessed a trend toward permeable boundaries and in some cases a blurring between organization and environment. Contrary to received wisdom, we argue that the question as to whether organizational boundaries have become more permeable or not cannot be decided empirically but is mainly a theoretical issue. Whether or not data indicate permeability or impermeability depends on the theoretical lens employed. Against this backdrop, we review how two prominent approaches to the study of boundaries, sociological systems theory and new institutionalism, not only arrive at different conclusions but also mandate diverging avenues of research. We focus in depth on several empirical trends: advances in information and communication technologies, increasingly dynamic fields and markets, invasive transparency regimes, and meta-organizations. We then introduce the contributions in this volume, showing how they elaborate on these and other empirical trends, drawing on different theoretical perspectives, to advance our understanding of the importance of boundaries within and around organizations.

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Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-829-3

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Book part
Publication date: 8 November 2010

Matthew M. Mars and Sherry Hoskinson

In this chapter, we consider the tensions that arise at the intersection of various organizational units (i.e., academic departments, research centers, and administrative…

Abstract

In this chapter, we consider the tensions that arise at the intersection of various organizational units (i.e., academic departments, research centers, and administrative areas) and actors (i.e., professors, graduate students, investors, and secular entrepreneurs) that are commonly involved with academic entrepreneurship and the exploration of the entrepreneurial dimensions of science. Using the premises of organizational boundary spanning (e.g., Aldrich & Herker, 1977; Thompson, 1967; Tushman & Scanlan, 1981), we organize our discussion around the role of university entrepreneurship and innovation centers in facilitating and mediating the interorganizational transactions that most often underpin academic entrepreneurship. Specifically, we illustrate and discuss the role university entrepreneurship and innovation centers play in (1) managing the various agendas and expectations of stakeholders within and outside of the academy, (2) providing clarity of purpose to the entrepreneurial endeavor, (3) clarifying ownership rights throughout the entrepreneurial process, and 4) maximizing the potential of individuals to contribute to venture success.

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Spanning Boundaries and Disciplines: University Technology Commercialization in the Idea Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-200-6

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Tammar B. Zilber

Borrowing from practice theory to enhance institutional theory has much potential. It may help institutional scholars reconnect with its constructivist, processual…

Abstract

Borrowing from practice theory to enhance institutional theory has much potential. It may help institutional scholars reconnect with its constructivist, processual origins. Yet previous attempts of borrowing across paradigmatic boundaries – both in organization studies and in institutional theory – teach us that borrowing is not a straightforward adoption. Instead, theories that cross known paradigmatic boundaries go through a process of translation, and may well get lost in the way. In this paper, the author focuses on methodology and points to impediments to the fruitful adoption of a practice-driven approach to institutionalization, and offers ways to overcome them. In particular, the author points to the need to change the focus from process as an outcome to the inner life of the process; capturing action in vivo and in situ; and finding ways to focus on practice yet not lose connection to its institutional context and implications.

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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: 30 November 2017

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Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-332-8

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Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Randal Joy Thompson

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Proleptic Leadership on the Commons: Ushering in a New Global Order
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-799-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Keith Horton, Elisabeth Davenport and Trevor Wood‐Harper

To provide a view of Rob Kling's contribution to socio‐technical studies of work.

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Abstract

Purpose

To provide a view of Rob Kling's contribution to socio‐technical studies of work.

Design/methodology/approach

The five “big ideas” discussed are signature themes in Kling's own work in the informatics domain, and of his intellectual legacy.

Findings

This paper conveys something of Kling's presence in social informatics (SI) thinking by focusing on a number of “big” ideas – “multiple points of view”, “social choices”, “the production lattice” (and its corollary, the problematization of the user), “socio‐technical interaction networks”, and “institutional truth regimes”.

Research limitations/implications

A growing research community has demonstrated the power of SI techniques. It is essential that this body of work is sustained and developed, demonstrating how to undertake investigation and observation, that is not driven by instrumentalism but is informed by and leads to “technological realism”.

Practical implications

The SI corpus, exposing the dangers of naïve instrumentalism as an approach to information systems design and management, can guide practitioners on how to unpack the history of what is in view. This may be a specific technology, a social formation, or a sociotechnical circumstance. Practitioners may draw on the concepts presented, not as a prescriptive toolkit, but rather as a sensitizing frame to assist those who wish to re‐vision the workplace.

Originality/value

Central to the successful utilisation of computers in work, we argue, is the continuing development of a portfolio of interpretive concepts (such as STINs, regimes of truth, production lattices) that can consolidate Rob Kling's “big” ideas that are the core of this paper.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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