Institutionalization and Structuration: Studying the Links between Action and Institution
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Barley, Stephen R.; Tolbert, Pamela S.
Institutional theory and structuration theory both contend that institutions and actions are inextricably linked and that institutionalization is best understood as a dynamic, ongoing process. Institutionalists, however, have pursued an empirical agenda that has largely ignored how institutions are created, altered, and reproduced, in part, because their models of institutionalization as a process are underdeveloped. Structuration theory, on the other hand, largely remains a process theory of such abstraction that it has generated few empirical studies. This paper discusses the similarities between the two theories, develops an argument for why a fusion of the two would enable institutional theory to significantly advance, develops a model of institutionalization as a structuration process, and proposes methodological guidelines for investigating the process empirically.
structuration; institutionalization; organizational change; social action; methodology; longitudinal analysis
Required Publisher Statement: Copyright by SAGE Publications. Final paper published as Barley, S. R., & Tolbert, P. S. (1997). Institutionalization and structuration: Studying the links between action and institution. Organization Studies, 18(1), 93-117.