Institutional Rationality and Practice Variation: New Directions in the Institutional Analysis of Practice

14 Pages Posted: 24 May 2013

See all articles by Michael Lounsbury

Michael Lounsbury

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: May 17, 2007

Abstract

In this paper, I highlight how popular understandings of neoinstitutionalism as a theory of isomorphism need to be revised as institutionalists have shifted attention towards the study of organizational heterogeneity. As part of this shift, old emphases on arational mimicry and stability have been replaced with new emphases on institutional rationality and ongoing struggle and change. I discuss these new directions and the implications for the study of accounting practice. I argue that given recent efforts by institutionalists to account for actors and practice diversity, there is an important opportunity for dialogue with practice theorists, such as those drawing on Actor Network Theory, and the creation of a more comprehensive approach to the study of practice that attends to both institutional and micro-processual dynamics.

Suggested Citation

Lounsbury, Michael, Institutional Rationality and Practice Variation: New Directions in the Institutional Analysis of Practice (May 17, 2007). Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 33, No. 4-5, 2008; University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2266688

Michael Lounsbury (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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