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The Old Institutionalists Myths & Ceremonies Mechanisms of Isomorphism Three Pillars of Institutions ... Matrix, Theory Z, TQM, ISO, BPR, etc. ad nauseum. Dick ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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An organizations conformity to the common
structural forms managerial practices
prevailing within an orgl field confers
legitimacy and resource benefits from the other
field members.
Institutionalization evolves from informal norms
to codified rules regulations, sanctioned by
formal regulatory orgs, such as state medical
societies regional college accreditation boards.
LEGITIMACY involves normative beliefs by others
about the proper, acceptable exercise of
organizational authority ( legitimate
held without challenge that a homogeneous set of
organizational activities structures should be
rewarded with financial resources, prestige, and
public esteem
In contrast to organizational ecology (why so
many orgl forms?), institutionalists (why so
similar?) assert wide variation is eliminated as
less-legitimate forms are starved for resources
political support.
The Old Institutionalists
Institutionalists Thorstein Veblen, John Commons
Wesley Mitchell briefly dominated U.S.
economics (1880-1910), but were eclipsed in the
triumph of neoclassical orthodoxy the rise of
Institutionalists stressed the historical,
social, institutional factors on which economic
laws were contingent. Economic behaviors
werent immutable but conditioned by changing
historical influences, especially societal
institutions which shaped individual actors
beliefs and actions.
In sociology, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton
Philip Selznick promoted institutionalism.
Selznicks TVA and the Grass Roots (1949),
studied how federal agency efforts to coopt
support for its dam building back-fired, when
local officials changed TVAs goals to serve
private interests.
Institutional commitments develop over time as
the org confronts external constraints and
pressures from its environment as well as changes
in the composition of its personnel, their
interests, and their informal relations.
Myths Ceremonies
Orgs mirror societal conventions, playing
lip-service to dominant values norms. A
loose-coupling occurs between orgl facades
operational cores, e.g., bureaucratic schools
where classroom anarchy prevails.
Organizational field members develop shared
meaning systems, a consensus about desired
qualities, values, and behaviors.
Institutionalizing common understandings requires
that social processes, obligations, or
actualities come to take on a rule-like status in
social thought and action (John Meyer Brian
Rowan 1977341). Symbolic meanings are embedded
into formal structures and routine practices
permeating everyday orgl life.
Institutionalized routines often exhibit faddish,
ritualistic, ceremonial mythic elements largely
unrelated to rational efficiency or effectiveness
(DMV red tape, UM cap-and-gown rites). Orgl
structures practices persist as traditional
customs and habits, regardless of their
rationality, but simply because plausible
alternatives to traditions grow unthinkable. In
other words, institutionalized acts are done for
no other reason than that is how things are done
(Pfeffer 1982240).
Mechanisms of Isomorphism
Citation classic by Paul DiMaggio Woody Powell
(1983) proposed three mechanisms generating
isomorphic conformity (convergence around a
single form), thereby reducing variation within
industries orgl fields.
Coercive isomorphism stems from political
influences and cultural expectations Mimesis
arises in uncertainties leading to imitation of
apparently successful forms   Normative
pressures originate in occupational communities
professional assns
Causal ambiguities about orgl performance
especially in government nonprofit sectors, but
even in business promote a slavish mimicry in
the diffusion adoption of the hottest
management fads fashions Taylorism, M-form,
Human Relations, Matrix, Theory Z, TQM, ISO, BPR,
etc. ad nauseum.
Three Pillars of Institutions
Dick Scott defined institutions as multifaceted,
durable social structures, made up of symbolic
elements, social activities, and material
resources. They are relatively resistant to
change. His typology comprised 3 pillars
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