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We have been working together for more than 40 years with some success. In this chapter, we use that lengthy collaboration to suggest what elements and processes have been…
We have been working together for more than 40 years with some success. In this chapter, we use that lengthy collaboration to suggest what elements and processes have been important for us, and, which we believe are important for working together more generally. These include: the local environment for collaborative research; the dynamics of an ongoing collaboration; the process of managing collaboration; the impact of personal styles; the changing nature of collaboration the longer it continues; the impact of career changes; and the role of successful outcomes. We examine what lessons we have learned and make some observations about our experience in relation to more general ideas about collaboration.
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…
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.
How do new professional service firms strategically position themselves in fields where developing a favourable external reputation is critical to performance? Are certain…
How do new professional service firms strategically position themselves in fields where developing a favourable external reputation is critical to performance? Are certain positioning strategies more effective than others? This study reveals that most professional service firm start-ups attempt to establish themselves by pursuing a strategy of moderate divergence from a field's institutionalized practices. Those that do so, however, do not perform as well as those that either conform more closely to these institutional prescriptions or depart more radically from them. In other words, balance beguiles but purism pays.
The geographically bounded community is explored as a political jurisdiction. Jurisdictions are important sites as local factors determine which political party is in…
The geographically bounded community is explored as a political jurisdiction. Jurisdictions are important sites as local factors determine which political party is in power and because different professionals work within them. Jurisdictions are, thus, arenas for the expression of public policies, which have significant societal consequences. Specifically, we analyse 18 Danish municipalities and the local constructions of a new health-care organisation's focus either upon citizens in general or upon specific groups of patients. The study shows little evidence of specifically local translations. Instead, the study suggests the choice of focus – and underlying institutional logic – is influenced by the local actors' relationships with an external institutional context. Members of local political parties adopt the ideological position of the national party. Similarly, professionals employed locally push the ideology of their profession.
Our conception of the ideal organization has changed from the machine-like efficiency of Weberian bureaucracy to a post-industrial ideal (Bell, 1973) in which organizations spurn the bureaucratic form to become more adaptive, receptive and generative. Such ideal organizations, we are told, will exhibit strong employee involvement and will rely on self-organizing autonomous teams. Hierarchy will be abandoned in favor of flatter organizational structures, and authority relations will be based upon individual capability and expertise rather than position. Put simply, organizations of the future will cure all of the ills of Weber's bureaucracy while preserving the ideals of precision, speed, discretion, knowledge and, above all, efficiency.
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.
Philip Selznick has been a central, historical figure in the development of institutional theory. In particular his contribution in TVA and the Grass Roots and Leadership…
Philip Selznick has been a central, historical figure in the development of institutional theory. In particular his contribution in TVA and the Grass Roots and Leadership in Administration has been key. However, we put forward the relevance of Selznick’s broader portfolio of ideas, to show that they could inform institutional analysis in new ways. There are important ideas and insights that can be brought to bear on contemporary issues within institutional theory. In particular, Selznick was concerned with the ways in which organizational goals are deflected because of different interest groups. Organizations use various kinds of cooptation to deal with interest groups. Selznick’s perspective implies that institutional theorists need to be concerned with both deflection of purposes and interests. These ideas are explored further in his work, The Organizational Weapon, showing a concern with the nefarious effects of organizational practices, an avenue that institutional theory needs to explore further. Indeed, Selznick was always concerned with the consequences of institutionalization. He dealt with issues of organizational governance, purposes and interests, ideas of unanticipated as well as anticipated consequences, negative as well as positive effects of institutionalization all of which require further analysis in contemporary institutional theory. Also at the heart of Selznick’s work was an emphasis on policy and practice, coming from American pragmatist philosophy. For Selznick, knowledge is to be utilized to produce good policy and practice. Institutional theorists need to consider the applications of their knowledge.
How does organizations' embeddedness in social and cultural communities influence their behavior? And how has this changed with recent communication technology advances…
How does organizations' embeddedness in social and cultural communities influence their behavior? And how has this changed with recent communication technology advances and globalization trends? In this introductory chapter to Research in the Sociology of Organization's volume on Communities and Organizations we consider how diverse types of communities influence organizations, as well as the associated benefit of developing a richer accounting for community processes in organizational theory. Our goal is to move beyond the focus on social proximity and networks that has characterized existing work on communities. We highlight how the notion of community provides a distinct institutional order that enables actors to tailor community logics that give cultural meaning to and govern specific institutional fields and furthermore how communities can function as an organizational form.