Rediscovering the power of institutions: The macrofoundations of institutional analysis

Markus A. Höllerer, Marc Schneiberg, Patricia H. Thornton, Charlene Zietsma, Milo Shaoqing Wang

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This chapter provides a summary of the closing plenary at the 2018 Alberta Institutions Conference in which four scholars – Markus Höllerer, Marc Schneiberg, Patricia Thornton, and Charlene Zietsma – shared their views on how we could put the macrofoundations of institutional theory again more center-stage in institutional analysis. The first major theme emerging from the panel discussion pertains to the meaning of macrofoundations. While Schneiberg sees institutions as socio-cognitive infrastructures, Zietsma emphasizes their constitutive nature. Second, both Thornton and Höllerer caution that an exclusive focus on either the micro-or the macro-level might remain only partial and call for more cross-level studies of institutions – and also for understanding the micro and the macro as co-constitutive analytical categories. Finally, the panelists discuss how we could break academic silos in institutional analysis and strive for theoretical innovation through interdisciplinary studies, among other avenues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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