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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Guillermo Casasnovas and Marc Ventresca

Recent research develops theory and evidence to understand how organizations come to be seen as “actors” with specified features and properties, a core concern for…

Abstract

Recent research develops theory and evidence to understand how organizations come to be seen as “actors” with specified features and properties, a core concern for phenomenological institutionalism. The authors use evidence from changes in research designs in the organizational study of institutional logics as an empirical strategy to add fresh evidence to the debates about the institutional construction of organizations as actors. The case is the research literature on the institutional logics perspective, a literature in which organizational and institutional theorists grapple with long-time social theory questions about nature and context of action and more contemporary debates about the dynamics of social orders. With rapid growth since the early 1990s, this research program has elaborated and proliferated in ways meant to advance the study of societal orders, frames, and practices in diverse inter- and intra-organizational contexts. The study identifies two substantive trends over the observation period: A shift in research design from field-level studies to organization-specific contexts, where conflicts are prominent in the organization, and a shift in the conception of logic transitions, originally from one dominant logic to another, then more attention to co-existence or blending of logics. Based on this evidence, the authors identify a typology of four available research genres that mark a changed conception of organizations as actors. The case of institutional logics makes visible the link between research designs and research outcomes, and it provides new evidence for the institutional processes that construct organizational actorhood.

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Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-081-9

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

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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: 12 January 2021

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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: 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: 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.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2016

Joel Gehman, Michael Lounsbury and Royston Greenwood

This double volume presents a collection of 23 papers on how institutions matter to socio-economic life. The papers delve deeply into the practical impact an institutional…

Abstract

This double volume presents a collection of 23 papers on how institutions matter to socio-economic life. The papers delve deeply into the practical impact an institutional approach enables, as well as how such research has the potential to influence policies relevant to critical institutional changes unfolding in the world today. In Volume 48A, the focus is on the micro foundations of institutional impacts. In Volume 48B, the focus is on the macro consequences of institutional arrangements. Our introduction provides an overview to the two volumes, identifies points of contact between the papers, and briefly summarizes each contribution. We close by noting avenues for future research on how institutions matter. Overall, the volumes provide a cross-section of cutting edge institutional thought and empirical research, highlighting a variety of fruitful directions for knowledge accumulation and development.

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Milo Shaoqing Wang and Michael Lounsbury

Narrow, managerially centered notions of organizational culture remain hegemonic, marginalizing richer, anthropological approaches as well as efforts to understand how the…

Abstract

Narrow, managerially centered notions of organizational culture remain hegemonic, marginalizing richer, anthropological approaches as well as efforts to understand how the beliefs and practices of organizations are fundamentally shaped by the wider societal dynamics within which they are embedded. In this paper, the authors draw upon recent efforts to explore the interface of scholarship on practice and the institutional logics perspective to highlight the utility of a practice-driven institutional approach to the study of organizational culture that brings society back in. Empirically, the authors present a longitudinal case study of a Chinese private enterprise, and analyze how the unfolding dynamics of a strong community logic increasingly affected by a rising market logic, shaped the formation of political coalitions internally and externally as organizational members aimed to maintain truces between the push and pull of logics over a period of 22 years. Through an analysis of seven episodes that we conceptualize as “cultural encounters,” the authors find that a combination of compartmentalization and overall integration of logics contributes to provisional truces, and that people in the same cohort who share common geographic socialization are more likely to form allies. Our aim is to encourage future scholars to study how societal beliefs and practices work their way into organizations in a variety of explicit as well as more mundane, hidden ways.

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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: 6 August 2018

Michael Lounsbury

In this paper, I applaud but also critique the project to integrate the literatures on stakeholders, non-market strategy, and social movements under the umbrella of…

Abstract

In this paper, I applaud but also critique the project to integrate the literatures on stakeholders, non-market strategy, and social movements under the umbrella of business and society. My main concern is that some may perceive this integrative effort as hinging on a kind of applied economic imagery of actors and interests that valorizes instrumental, strategic action. Building on scholarship at the interface of social movements and organizations, I argue for the fruitfulness of a broader institutional approach to business and society.

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Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-Market Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-349-2

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Roger Friedland

In this paper, I compare Theodore Schatzki’s practice theory, the existential phenomenology of Martin Heidegger upon whom Schatzki drew in its formation, and my own theory…

Abstract

In this paper, I compare Theodore Schatzki’s practice theory, the existential phenomenology of Martin Heidegger upon whom Schatzki drew in its formation, and my own theory of institutional logics which I have sought to develop as a religious sociology of institution. I examine how Schatzki and I both differently locate our thinking at the level of practice. In this essay I also explore the possibility of appropriating Heidegger’s religious ontology of worldhood, which Schatzki rejects, in that project. My institutional logical position is an atheological religious one, poly-onto-teleological. Institutional logics are grounded in ultimate goods which are praiseworthy “objects” of striving and practice, signifieds to which elements of an institutional logic have a non-arbitrary relation, sources of and references for practical norms about how one should have, make, do or be that good, and a basis of knowing the world of practice as ordered around such goods. Institutional logics are constellations co-constituted by substances, not fields animated by values, interests or powers.

Because we are speaking against “values,” people are horrified at a philosophy that ostensibly dares to despise humanity’s best qualities. For what is more “logical” than that a thinking that denies values must necessarily pronounce everything valueless? Martin Heidegger, “Letter on Humanism” (2008a, p. 249).

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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: 17 August 2016

M. Diane Burton, Lisa E. Cohen and Michael Lounsbury

In this paper, we call for renewed attention to the structure and structuring of work within and between organizations. We argue that a multi-level approach, with jobs as…

Abstract

In this paper, we call for renewed attention to the structure and structuring of work within and between organizations. We argue that a multi-level approach, with jobs as a core analytic construct, is a way to draw connections among economic sociology, organizational sociology, the sociology of work and occupations, labor studies and stratification and address the important problems of both increasing inequality and declining economic productivity.

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The Structuring of Work in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-436-5

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