Chapter 10: Microfoundations of Institutional Theory
Walter W. Powell & Jeannette A. Colyvas
Microfoundations of institutional theory For almost two decades, scholars have stressed the need to make the microfoundations of institutional theory more explicit (DiMaggio and Powell, 1991; Zucker, 1991). Curiously, there has been limited progress in this effort, although Barley, Glynn, and Sahlin, in Chapters 8 , 16 and 20 in this volume, also remedy this deficit. We think that much analytical purchase can be gained by developing a micro-level component of institutional analysis. Moreover, there are useful building blocks from ethnomethodology to Goffman on interaction rituals to Weick on sensemaking and social psychological research on legitimation that can be drawn upon to contribute to this effort. We begin by making a case for the benefits of examining micro-processes. We then selectively review the terrain, cobbling together useful, albeit disparate, lines of research and theory. The thrust of this chapter is generative and by no means intended as a comprehensive survey. ...