Actors and Institutions

OXFORD HANDBOOK OF COMPARATIVE INSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS, Glenn Morgan, John Campbell, Colin Crouch, Ove Pedersen, Peer H. Christensen, Richard Whitley, eds., Oxford University Press, 2010

University of Bath, School of Management Working Paper No. 2009.07

25 Pages Posted: 27 May 2009

Abstract

A key theoretical and methodological issue for comparative scholars concerns the non-identical nature of actors across different institutional contexts. This paper reviews the relationship between actors and institutions within various strands of institutional theory, showing some emerging points of agreement among different social sciences disciplines regarding their co-generative or mutually constitutive nature. While actors' identities and interests are shaped by the broader institutional environment, institutions are equally the outcome of particular constellations of actors and their interactions. This understanding of institutions in terms of actor identities, interests, and constellations is illustrated with reference to industrial relations and corporate governance institutions. The paper also draws upon recent theories of action grounded in pragmatism to argue that institutions should be understood as an historical and non-deterministic context of action, wherein institutionalization can be usefully understood as a matter of degree. In particular, the ambiguity of institutionalized constraints and opportunities and the different strategic capacities of actors to enact institutionalized routines may give rise to more or less heterogeneous forms of organizational within different national business systems.

Keywords: comparative institutional analysis, institutions, corporate governance, theories of action

JEL Classification: G30, J50, P16, P30, P51, D70

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Gregory, Actors and Institutions. OXFORD HANDBOOK OF COMPARATIVE INSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS, Glenn Morgan, John Campbell, Colin Crouch, Ove Pedersen, Peer H. Christensen, Richard Whitley, eds., Oxford University Press, 2010, University of Bath, School of Management Working Paper No. 2009.07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1408664

Gregory Jackson (Contact Author)

Freie Universität Berlin ( email )

Boltzmannstrasse 20
D-14195 Berlin, 14195
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de/institute/management/jackson/team/gjackson/index.html

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