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Institute of Organization Science
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DFG Network Neo-Institutionalism

Neo-institutionalism is one of the leading theories in interdisciplinary organizational research. Starting from empirical problems, it has contributed in many ways to our understanding of organizations. In particular, the approach currently prominently addresses three problems: (1) tension relations of heterogeneous institutional logics, (2) the importance of meso-orders such as organizational fields, and (3) the role of actors in processes of (de)institutionalization, e.g., through institutional work. However, in addition to a considerable expansion of the approach, the emphasis on these problems has led to a loss of theoretical coherence. A more precise theoretical foundation therefore seems necessary, especially to ensure the practical relevance of the approach in the long term. The goals of the scientific network focus on (1) an analysis of the current concepts of organizational fields, logics and institutional work with regard to their theoretical foundations, their deficits as well as their practical potential, (2) the exploration of a stronger foundation of these concepts in existing social theories and (3), based on this, the theoretical (further) development of the concepts taking into account the micro-, meso- and macro-level. The developed concepts should open up new theoretical explanatory potential for empirical phenomena.


Contact person

Prof. Elke Schüßler