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The Institutional Logics PerspectiveA New Approach to Culture, Structure and Process$
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Patricia H. Thornton, William Ocasio, and Michael Lounsbury

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199601936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601936.001.0001

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Microfoundations of Institutional Logics

Microfoundations of Institutional Logics

(p.76) Chapter 4 Microfoundations of Institutional Logics
The Institutional Logics Perspective

Patricia H. Thornton

William Ocasio

Michael Lounsbury

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the microfoundations of institutional logics and their role in the continuing reproduction and alteration of institutions and organizations. It considers Meyer and Rowan’s (1977) and DiMaggio and Powell’s (1983) neoinstitutional theory which was developed as a theory of structural effects on organizations with a limited capacity for agency. It then considers more recent approaches which highlight the importance of social actors in various institutional practices. The chapter argues that social actors are in fact key to understanding institutional persistence and change. The chapter further elaborates on the model of microfoundations began in Chapter 3. This model, the chapter explains, is based on an understanding of actors as situated, embedded, and boundedly intentional actors. The model allows both for automatic taken-for-granted behavior, and agency and reflexivity. The chapter ends with a summary of what this model encompasses, how it differs to past theories and its future relevance.

Keywords:   inter-institutional system, institutional logic, ideal types, institutional analysis, social structure, agency, community logic, institutional field

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