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Publication date: 12 January 2021

Theodore R. Schatzki

This paper sketches an alliance between Roger Friedland’s institutional theory and the author’s own account of social practices. In addition to taking up such general…

Abstract

This paper sketches an alliance between Roger Friedland’s institutional theory and the author’s own account of social practices. In addition to taking up such general issues as what theory alliances and institutions are, this paper draws the two theories together by conceptualizing institutional orders as components of the practice plenum and exploring convergences between institutional logics and practice organizations. This paper also neutralizes apparent divergences between the two theories concerning levels of society and affirms Friedland’s thesis that institutional change is tied to politics in a particular French, post-Heideggerian sense of politics.

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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

Joel Gehman

Drawing on close readings of Schatzki and Friedland, this paper explores the nexus of practice, logics, and values, and especially the implications of practice-driven…

Abstract

Drawing on close readings of Schatzki and Friedland, this paper explores the nexus of practice, logics, and values, and especially the implications of practice-driven institutionalism for the concept of values and vice versa. In essence, the article searches for values in practice-driven institutionalism and articulates how they might be found, deploying practice theory, institutional logics, and values work as guides. The article’s core argument is that both practice theory and institutional logics ascribe an important conceptual role to values, but neither has developed a theory of values that is wholly compatible with the onto-epistemological commitments of practice-driven institutionalism. The article introduces burgeoning scholarship on values work and argues that this approach offers a bridge between practice theory and institutional theory and, by extension, provides conceptual resources and an important research lacuna for those interested in practice-driven institutionalism.

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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

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: 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: 12 January 2021

Christopher W. J. Steele

This paper is based on a presentation at a conference in 2019, which called on participants to explore the merits of more practice-theoretical conceptualizations of…

Abstract

This paper is based on a presentation at a conference in 2019, which called on participants to explore the merits of more practice-theoretical conceptualizations of institutions and institutional logics. The main body of the paper is a lightly edited version of the presentation, which explores three interwoven topics: First, why an avowedly practice-theoretic institutionalism might be analytically fertile; second, what horizons might be generated for institutional logicians by an intensified embrace of practice theory; and third, what these analytic potentialities might entail for the “peopling” of institutional theory. The tone and purpose of the paper are exploratory; though provisional conclusions are elaborated in an analytic epilogue. Purposefully provocative claims include that institutional logics may possess some form of intentionality, or a distinctive orientation toward the world, and that such orientations may differentially encourage jurisdictional expansion.

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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: 26 September 2017

José A. Rodríguez, John W. Mohr and Laura Halcomb

Drawing on insights from a yearlong ethnography and in-depth survey of the members of a Buddhist monastery located in the heart of modern Europe, we examine how members of…

Abstract

Drawing on insights from a yearlong ethnography and in-depth survey of the members of a Buddhist monastery located in the heart of modern Europe, we examine how members of the organization come to be more or less involved in the organization and in its core institutional logic. Here we present an exploratory analysis of how individuals’ beliefs about Buddhism and its relationship to everyday life are deeply intertwined with and articulated into different regimes of organizational activities, rituals, and religious practices. Borrowing from institutional logics theory, we use methods for illustrating the relational structure that articulates dualities linking beliefs and practices together. We show that dually ordered assemblages can reveal different types of logics embraced by different members of an organization. Our principal contention is that the greater the structural alignment between an individual’s belief structure, their repertoire of practices, and the institutional logic of the organization, the more well integrated that individual will likely be within the organization, the higher the probability of transformational changes of personal identity, as well as the greater probability of overall success in organizational membership recruitment and retention.

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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: 1 June 2017

Roger Friedland and Diane-Laure Arjaliès

On Justification: Economies of Worth (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991/2006) was a synthetic and comprehensive parsing of common goods, goods that could and had to be justified…

Abstract

On Justification: Economies of Worth (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991/2006) was a synthetic and comprehensive parsing of common goods, goods that could and had to be justified in public. In response to Bourdieu’s critical sociology, they rather provided a robust and disciplined sociology of critique, the situated requirements of justification. They refused power and violence as integral to the operability of justification. They emphasized the ways in which conventions of worth afforded coordination, not their constitution of or by domination. They refused to make either capitalism, or the state, into primary motors of social order. Indeed, they refused social sphere, structure, or group as the ground of the good. They emphasized the cognitive capacities of agents. There was no passion, no desire, no bodily affect in these justified worlds. There wasn’t even any account of production of value, of children, or of money. And while they recognized the metaphysical aspect of the good and even used Christianity as a template for one of their cités, they rigorously excluded religion. The theory was designed to analyze moments of controversy, not quiescence or quietude. In his subsequent work, Boltanski aimed to address these absences. In this essay, we examine how Boltanski sought to restore love, violence, religion, production, and institution across five texts: Love and Justice as Competences (1990/2012), The New Spirit of Capitalism, co-authored with Eve Chiapello (1999/2007), The Foetal Condition: A Sociology of Engendering and Abortion (2004/2013), On Critique: A Sociology of Emancipation (2009/2011), and La «Collection», Une Forme Neuve du Capitalisme – La Mise en Valeur Economique du Passé et ses Effets (2014) co-authored with Arnaud Esquerre.

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Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-379-1

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Roger Friedland and Diane-Laure Arjaliès

This paper explores the role of institutional objects in the constitution of institutional logics. Institutional objects depend for their objectivity on the goods produced…

Abstract

This paper explores the role of institutional objects in the constitution of institutional logics. Institutional objects depend for their objectivity on the goods produced through those objects, such as economic models, passports, or sacred texts. The authors theorize institutional logics as grammars of valuation that institutionalize goods through institutional objects. The authors identify four value moments through which goods are objectified: institution, the instituting of a good, a belief and an imagination of its objective goodness; production, how the good is produced, what practices are productive of the good; evaluation, how good is the good, the practices and objects through which worth in terms of that good is determined, and territorialization, the domain of reference of the good, to what objects and practices a good can and does refer in its instantiations. The authors assess the adequacy of our model through an institutional object based on the good of “market value” – i.e., an options pricing model. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for institutional logical theory and the sociology of valuation.

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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: 16 April 2014

Roger Friedland

This article examines Max Weber’s theory of value spheres as a basis for a polytheistic religious sociology of institutional life. Weber’s approach implies institutional…

Abstract

This article examines Max Weber’s theory of value spheres as a basis for a polytheistic religious sociology of institutional life. Weber’s approach implies institutional theory as a form of comparative religion. Two problems present themselves. If the values of the spheres are to be considered as “gods,” they do not align easily with Weber’s sociology of religion. Given that love was central both as a driver and a constituent in Weber’s understanding of salvation religions, it also implies that love be incorporated into our theorizing of institutional life, something entirely absent in the way we think about enduring forms of social organization. Taking the second seriously may enable us to fabricate a solution to the first.

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Religion and Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-693-4

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