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Neo-Institutional Theory and Organization Studies : A Mid-Life Crisis?

Alvesson, Mats LU and Spicer, André (2019) In Organization Studies 40(2). p.199-218
Abstract

We trace the development of neo-institutional theory in Organization Studies from a marginal topic to the dominant theory. We show how it has evolved from infancy, through adolescence and early adulthood to being a fully mature theory, which we think is now facing a mid-life crisis. Some of the features of this mid-life crisis include over-reach, myopia, tautology, pseudo-progress and re-inventing the wheel. To address these problems, we argue that institutional theorists should limit the range of the concept, sharpen their lens, avoid tautologies and problematize the concept. By doing this, we think institutional theorists could develop a narrower and more focused conception of institutions.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
development, identity, institutional theory, midlife crisis
in
Organization Studies
volume
40
issue
2
pages
199 - 218
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85049797001
ISSN
0170-8406
DOI
10.1177/0170840618772610
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0a9e7c8f-e7b9-40ac-abe1-d0ffd966b4cd
date added to LUP
2018-09-12 08:25:14
date last changed
2020-09-16 03:54:34
@article{0a9e7c8f-e7b9-40ac-abe1-d0ffd966b4cd,
  abstract     = {<p>We trace the development of neo-institutional theory in Organization Studies from a marginal topic to the dominant theory. We show how it has evolved from infancy, through adolescence and early adulthood to being a fully mature theory, which we think is now facing a mid-life crisis. Some of the features of this mid-life crisis include over-reach, myopia, tautology, pseudo-progress and re-inventing the wheel. To address these problems, we argue that institutional theorists should limit the range of the concept, sharpen their lens, avoid tautologies and problematize the concept. By doing this, we think institutional theorists could develop a narrower and more focused conception of institutions.</p>},
  author       = {Alvesson, Mats and Spicer, André},
  issn         = {0170-8406},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {199--218},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {Organization Studies},
  title        = {Neo-Institutional Theory and Organization Studies : A Mid-Life Crisis?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0170840618772610},
  doi          = {10.1177/0170840618772610},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2019},
}