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Agency and Instituions in Organization Studies
Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (CEROC)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0298-896X
London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
2017 (English)In: Organization Studies, ISSN 0170-8406, E-ISSN 1741-3044, Vol. 38, no 12, p. 1775-1792Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Agency and institutions are essential concepts within institutional theory. In this Perspectives issue, we draw on a select group of Organization Studies articles to provide an overview of the topic of agency and institutions. We first consider different ways of defining agency and institutions and examine their implications for institutional theory. We then analyse the relationship of actors and institutions through four lenses – the wilful actor, collective intentionality, patchwork institutions and modular individuals. Our analysis leads us to dissociate agency from individuals and view it as a capacity or quality that stems from resources, rights and obligations tied to the roles and social positions actors occupy. Roles and social positions are institutionally engineered. It is social actors qua occupants of roles and positions (not individuals) that enter the social ‘stage’ and exercise agency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage Publications, 2017. Vol. 38, no 12, p. 1775-1792
Keywords [en]
actors, agency, institutional theory, institutions, modular individuals
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-61507DOI: 10.1177/0170840617708007ISI: 000415787100006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-61507DiVA, id: diva2:1148911
Available from: 2017-10-12 Created: 2017-10-12 Last updated: 2018-08-06Bibliographically approved

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