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Notes on Organization-Environment Relations

Institutional perspective is very similar to the Ecological perspective


Both ask the same questions
How changes in environment influence the survival? How do processes contribute to changes?

They still have a lot of divergences


Ecology uses biology a lot Institutionalists use more research on the professions and the state, and also sociologists of culture

Critique: Doesn't pay much attention to organizational change and adaptation

The organization of the environment: Institutional perspective


Focus: Structure and composition of the environment: Attempts to connect organizational theory with general sociology
Has affinity with network research Organizational environments must be viewed in cultural, technical and economic terms - Legal systems - Sovereign modern professions - Micro level of everyday interactions Insights suggested - Environments are also formed by cultural elements - Organizations also compete for economic and social fitness - The model of behavior is one in which actors associate certain actions with certain situations by rules of appropriateness

Language
Institutionalization: Both a cognitive outcome and an exogenous process - Cognitively oriented lines of argument defines institutionalization as the product of ongoing repetitive interactions - Another line of argument says it is a formal aspect of the organization Focuses on causes and consequences on conformity Associates institutional processes with the actions of the state, the professions and other central organizations Organizational fields: Key units of analysis - Unit of analysis: the organizational field or societal sector - Components Key suppliers Resource and product consumers Regulatory agencies Professional associations Organizations that produce similar service or product Process to define (DiMaggio & Powel 1983) a. Increase in the extent of interaction among organizations within a field b. Emergence of defined interorganizational structures of domination and patterns of coalition c. Increase in information load d. Development of mutual awareness

Prepared by Ariadna73

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Notes on Organization-Environment Relations

Processes of institutionalization: Promote conformity within fields. Mechanisms conductive to organizational isomorphism - Coercive forces Come from formal and informal pressures In some circumstances, change is a direct response to government mandate - Mimetic changes Encouraged by uncertainty When managers don't know a thing, the organization tends to imitate other organizations - Normative influences Growth of professional communities based on knowledge Growth and elaboration of formal and informal professional networks

Key areas of research


How organizations adapt their formal structure to conform to institutional norms - Evaluate organizations by their outputs - The professions play a key role in shaping the institutional environment - Diffusion of standards, laws and structural changes Institutional isomorphism - Constraining process - Forces one unit in a population to resemble other units - Emphasizes acommodation rather than competition Research in different kinds of industries - Research on the arts and culture industries, Schools, churches, for profit firms, etc - Health care sectors Fierce competence for patients Adopt latest technology Technical and institutional pressures are not mutually exclusive Forms and patterns of institutionalization - Specific and collective properties of the environment - Levels of control - Key agents - Relationship between environmental complexity and internal organizational structure Homogeneous environment=Less elaborated internal structures Heterogeneous environment = convoluted internal structures

Critique
The central idea has been to locate the sources of organizational practices within a broader context
It is both more micro and more macro than other approaches Ethnomethodological view of human actions More structural focus that emphasizes incentives created by larger authority

This is a novel approach, but it shares a lot with sociology And it has shortcomings
The view is over-socialized and rather passive Little attention on how organizations maintain their dominant positions No research on how organization responds to threats

Prepared by Ariadna73

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