Institutional Theories of Organizations: Taking Stock and Moving ForwardFriday, July 3, 2015, 11:00–12:30
Professor of Religious Studies
University of California Santa Barbara, USA
Roger Friedland is a Visiting Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University and of Religious Studies and Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. His empirical work concerns the relation between sex, love and God. His theoretical work has centered on the notion of an institutional logic. He is currently thinking about how one might position value, emotion and object within this approach. His most recent essay, "The Institutional Logics of Love: Measuring Intimate Life", with John Mohr, Henk Roose and Paolo Gardinali, was published by Theory and Society (2014).
Professor of Management
Boston College, USA
Candace Jones researches institutional change, particularly changes in cultural meaning, material practices as well as regulation and technologies. She has been focusing on using discourse to identify core practices and also moving beyond discourse to identify and analyze systematic change in material practices, and how distinct patterns of meaning and practice are related to institutional context in which they occur. She focuses on creative industries and professions are arenas to study institutional change.
Professor of Organizational Behavior
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Tammar Zilber conducts research on the work of meanings in institutional processes. She has been focusing on the micro, messy discursive practices underlying seemingly clear-cut macro level institutional dynamics. Tammar is also interested in the production of knowledge in our academic field itself; in particular, in the ways the landscape of institutional theory changes, and how it affects scholars’ ability to offer insightful readings of human and organizational experiences.
Michael Lounsbury is the Thornton A. Graham Chair and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Alberta School of Business. He is the Director of the University of Alberta Technology Commercialization Centre. He is the series editor of Research in the Sociology of Organizations, and a former co-editor of Organization Studies.
His research focuses on entrepreneurship and socio-economic change including the creation of new markets and the cultural dynamics of organizations and practice. His work has been published in leading academic journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Accounting Organizations & Society, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Science, Organization Studies, and Strategic Management Journal.
Castigated by the likes of Heidegger and Arendt, Roger Friedland will explore the missing value of institutional logics, the ways in which the value category entails a project of a comparative religious sociology of institutional life, and the utility of theological categories in thinking through its material practices. Value also opens a road back to the subject beyond Weberian value rationality located in the subjective commitments of individuals.
Institutional theory has evolved into related but somewhat distinct approaches such as diffusion studies, translation, discourse, work and logics. These various institutionalisms can become self-referencing camps that extend ideas and research within but rarely speak to and across camps, fragmenting institutional theory into an incoherent approach.
It appears that these camps are driven in part by distinct values, ontological assumptions and methodological proclivities. Can we speak across camps by expanding our approaches and deploy both new methodological toolkits and multiple methods, such as big data out of humanities and computer science married to interpretation, that enable new insights that invigorate institutional theory?
Ironically enough, discussions of the future of institutional theory characterized the field from its very beginnings. By now institutional theory dominates organization theory and is quite imperialistic in widening the tent. Yet, the field seem to have been losing a sense of a core, as it is divided into many sub-academic communities, talking different dialects of the institutional lingo and focusing on different phenomena and problematic. Thus, the possibilities of exchange across these boundaries become scarce. One promising way, I hope, to move forward is to bridge these divisions of labor, by highlighting some questions that fall between the cracks and are not answered by any of the main theoretical streams within institutional theory.