The Endogeneity of Legal Regulation: Grievance Procedures as Rational Myth

105 American Journal of Sociology 406 (1999)

Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1310

26 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2014

See all articles by Lauren B. Edelman

Lauren B. Edelman

University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program and Center for the Study of Law and Society

Christopher Uggen

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Howard S. Erlanger

University of Wisconsin Law School

Date Written: September 29, 2014

Abstract

Most accounts of organizations and law treat law as largely exogenous and emphasize organizations' responses to law. This study proposes a model of endogeneity among organizations, the professions,and legal institutions. It suggests that organizations and the professors strive to construct rational responses to law, enabled by "rational myths" or stories about appropriate solutions that are themselves modeled after the public legal order. Courts, in turn, recognize and legitimate organizational structures that mimic the legal form, thus conferring legal and market benefits upon organizational structures that began as gestures of compliance. Thus, market rationality can follow from rationalized myths: the professions promote a particular compliance strategy, organizations adopt this strategy to reduce costs and symbolize compliance, and courts adjust judicial constructions of fairness to include these emerging organizational practices. To illustrate this model, a case study of equal employment opportunity (EEO) grievance procedures is presented in this article.

Suggested Citation

Edelman, Lauren B. and Uggen, Christopher and Erlanger, Howard S., The Endogeneity of Legal Regulation: Grievance Procedures as Rational Myth (September 29, 2014). 105 American Journal of Sociology 406 (1999); Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1310. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2503014 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2503014

Lauren B. Edelman

University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program and Center for the Study of Law and Society ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
510-642-4038 (Phone)
510-643-6171 (Fax)

Christopher Uggen (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Howard S. Erlanger

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.wisc.edu/facstaff/biog.php?iID=266

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