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Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Christopher W. J. Steele and Timothy R. Hannigan

Talk of “macrofoundations” helps foreground the constitutive and contextualizing powers of institutions – dynamics that are inadvertently obscured by the imagery of…

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Talk of “macrofoundations” helps foreground the constitutive and contextualizing powers of institutions – dynamics that are inadvertently obscured by the imagery of microfoundations. Highlighting these aspects of institutions in turn opens intriguing lines of inquiry into institutional reproduction and change, lived experience of institutions, and tectonic shifts in institutional configurations. However, there is a twist: taking these themes seriously ultimately challenges any naïve division of micro and macro, and undermines the claim of either to a genuinely foundational role in social analysis. The authors propose an alternative “optometric” imagery – positioning the micro and the macro as arrays of associated lenses, which bring certain things into focus at the cost of others. The authors argue that this imagery should not only encourage analytic reflexivity (“a more optometric institutionalism”) but also draw attention to the use of such lenses in everyday life, as an underexplored but critical phenomenon for institutional theory and research (“an institutionalist optometry”).

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Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Brett Crawford and M. Tina Dacin

In this chapter, the authors adopt a macrofoundations perspective to explore punishment within institutional theory. Institutional theorists have long focused on a single…

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In this chapter, the authors adopt a macrofoundations perspective to explore punishment within institutional theory. Institutional theorists have long focused on a single type of punishment – retribution – including the use of sanctions, fines, and incarceration to maintain conformity. The authors expand the types of punishment that work to uphold institutions, organized by visible and hidden, and formal and informal characteristics. The four types of punishment include (1) punishment-as-retribution; (2) punishment-as-charivari; (3) punishment-as-rehabilitation; and (4) punishment-as-vigilantism. The authors develop important connections between punishment-as-charivari, which relies on shaming efforts, and burgeoning interest in organizational stigma and social evaluations. The authors also point to informal types of punishment, including punishment-as-vigilantism, to expand the variety of actors that punish wrongdoing, including actors without the legal authority to do so. Finally, the authors detail a number of questions for each type of punishment as a means to generate a future research agenda.

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Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Abstract

Details

Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Book part

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…

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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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Mary Ann Glynn

In this reflective piece, the author engages with several themes that are oriented to the past, present, and future of institutional theory, to offer fresh insights for…

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In this reflective piece, the author engages with several themes that are oriented to the past, present, and future of institutional theory, to offer fresh insights for the next generation of theorizing. The author looks backward, tracing prevailing assumptions by investigating the language of theorization over the last eight decades, focusing on the frequency of use of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. What the author finds is a continuing emphasis on relatively static views of institutions and their permanence, indicated by the abundant use of nouns, but a relative neglect of more dynamic processes of institutionalization, reflected in verbs. Leveraging these observations, the author looks ahead, to identify fertile areas for theorization, including a consideration of the antithesis and/or synthesis between relating macrofoundations and microfoundations as antithesis or synthesis; examining the characteristics of institutional fields as contingencies of institutionization; and exploring the language of institutional theorization.

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Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Joel Gehman

The concept of institution has been used by scholars from across a number of disciplines to explain a wide variety of phenomena. However, the philosophical roots of this…

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The concept of institution has been used by scholars from across a number of disciplines to explain a wide variety of phenomena. However, the philosophical roots of this concept have not been well examined, nor have implications for contemporary institutional analysis been fully appreciated. Returning to the works of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty reveals a depth of thinking that has otherwise been overlooked by institutional theorists. In particular, the author’s analysis reveals two critical insights. First, whereas organizational scholars have closely linked the concepts of institution and taken-for-grantedness, these two concepts were originally understood to be phenomenologically distinct. Second, a detailed examination of Merleau-Ponty’s later work poses the concept of flesh – the twining of the visible and the invisible – as the basis for the interplay of institutions. In turn, the idea of flesh as the foundation of institution invites a more radical reimagining of the growing bifurcation between microfoundations and macrofoundations.

Details

Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Renate E. Meyer, Martin Kornberger and and Markus A. Höllerer

In this chapter, the authors introduce Ludwik Fleck and his ideas of “thought style” and “thought collective” to suggest a re-thinking of the divide between “micro” and…

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In this chapter, the authors introduce Ludwik Fleck and his ideas of “thought style” and “thought collective” to suggest a re-thinking of the divide between “micro” and “macro” that has perhaps more inhibited than inspired organization studies in general, and institutional theory in particular. With Fleck, the authors argue that there is no such thing as thought style-neutral cognition or undirected perception: meaning, constituted through a specific thought style shared by a thought collective, permeates cognition, judgment, perception, and thought. The authors illustrate our argument with the longitudinal case study of Sydney 2030 (i.e., the strategy-making process of the City of Sydney, Australia). The case suggests that – regardless of its actual implementation – a strategy is successful to the extent to which it shapes the socio-cognitive infrastructure of a collective and enables those engaged in city-making to think and act collectively.

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Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Mhamed Biygautane, Evelyn Micelotta, Claudia Gabbioneta and Giulia Cappellaro

Research on institutional logics has missed the opportunity to understand how and why societies may fundamentally differ in their material and symbolic systems. In this…

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Research on institutional logics has missed the opportunity to understand how and why societies may fundamentally differ in their material and symbolic systems. In this chapter, the authors offer a qualitative examination of the implementation of infrastructure public–private partnership (PPP) projects in the Arab state of Qatar. The authors illustrate how the macrofoundations of Qatari society are rooted in the notion of tribe, an inter-institutional system under which the intertwined institutional orders of the state, the market, and the family have historically developed and operated. Their study sheds light on how these macrofoundations shape the processes and mechanisms that underpin the resistance to the introduction of innovative organizational forms. The chapter makes two contributions. First, it identifies how “foreign” organizational forms rooted in Western institutional orders trigger adverse reactions from societies characterized by different institutional orders. Second, it demonstrates the challenge of implementing PPPs in an institutional context that is unfavorable to them and where actors seek to preserve the supremacy of the extant inter-institutional system.

Details

Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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