Fields in Institutional Theory

Every time I write about fields from an institutional theory perspective, I get hung up on what they mean.   I suppose that means I should write more about them.  Or that there are underlying tensions in how different scholars use them?

Somewhere in the various Virtual Worlds paper drafts that litter my “My Documents” like the broken and sunken galleons rising out of the Carribean Sea are probably the various definitions.  Maybe I should pull them all together and have that as my own reference file.

This post also represents the level of musing, free writing, and beginnings of conversations that I imagine I might use this blog for.  Sometimes I look at what I put here and it seems so NOT representational of the scholarship I am doing or currently working through.  It ends up looking more like my miscellaneous folder.  This is partly due to a concern  about not wanting to expose the messy writing process.  It is party because somehow I worry about giving away good ideas.  It is partly because fuller treatments of core ideas or puzzles I am working on require more time to write well and then it seems like the blog is time wasting instead of useful scholarly communication.

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2 Comments

Filed under organization theory, sociology, writing

2 responses to “Fields in Institutional Theory

  1. Ed

    I’ve read an interesting article about organizational fields. The authors reviewed the concept in different perspectives of analysis: as the totality of relevant actors, as a functionally specific arena, as a center of dialog and discussion, as an arena of power and conflict, as an institutional sphere of disputed interests, and as a structured network of relationships. They also proposed an analytical alternative based on structurationism. You should try it.
    Link: http://www.anpad.org.br/periodicos/arq_pdf/a_596.pdf

  2. Ed,

    Thank you for the suggestion. Your summary seems a lot more precise than the paper’s abstract.

    I was not sure about the alternative. To me, structuration as a recursive process entailing structure and agency is always part of fields and institutional theory. So, I am not sure what they are adding.

    But, this base on just the abstract and first few paragraphs.

    There is this article that I cam across and have nto read yet but it was cited in an article by Marquis and Davis in ORg Sci 2005 that I liked.
    MARTIN JL
    What is field theory?
    AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY 109 : 1 2003

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