Institutional logics

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Description: *Abstract: *We survey research on institutional logics, which are systems of cultural elements (values, beliefs, and normative expectations) by which people, groups, and organizations make sense of and evaluate their everyday activities, and organize those activities in time and space. Although there were scattered mentions of this concept before 1990, this literature really began with the 1991 publication of a theory piece by Roger Friedland and Robert Alford. Over the past twenty years, it has become a large and diverse area of organizational research. Several books and thousands of papers and book chapters have been published on this topic, addressing institutional logics in sites as different as climate change proceedings of the United Nations, local banks in the United States, and business groups in Taiwan. Next, we review this literature, beginning with a detailed explanation of the concept and the theory surrounding it. To show how this literature developed over time within the broader framework of theory and empirical work in sociology, political science, and anthropology, we evaluate several intellectual precursors to institutional logics. We then sample papers published in ten major sociology and management journals in the United States and Europe between 1990 and 2015, and analyze this sample of papers to identify trends in theoretical development and empirical findings. After we detail these trends, we conclude by suggesting three gentle corrections and potentially useful extensions to this literature to guide future research: (1) limiting the definition of institutional logic to cultural-cognitive phenomena, rather than including material phenomena; (2) recognizing both “cold” (purely rational) cognition and “hot” (emotion-laden) cognition; and (3) developing and testing a theory (or multiple related theories), meaning a logically interconnected set of propositions concerning a delimited set of social phenomena, derived from assumptions about essential facts (axioms), that details causal mechanisms and yields empirically testable (falsifiable) hypotheses, by being more consistent about how we use concepts in theoretical statements; assessing the reliability and validity of our empirical measures; and conducting meta-analyses of the many inductive studies that have been published, to develop deductive theories.

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Abstract: We survey research on institutional logics, which are systems of cultural elements (values, beliefs, and normative expectations) by which people, groups, and organizations make sense of and evaluate their everyday activities, and organize those activities in time and space.Although there were scattered mentions of this concept before 1990, this literature really began with the publi...

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