WiSe 13/14: Organizational and Institutional Theory
Organizations and (formal) institutions represent the basic structures of modern society. Organizations are crucial collective actors whose decisions and behavior result from complex interactions ... read more
Organizations and (formal) institutions represent the basic structures of modern society. Organizations are crucial collective actors whose decisions and behavior result from complex interactions between individuals in changing institutional environments. The purpose of the course is to provide students with a thorough grounding in the social science literature on working in organizations, organizational and institutional change. Starting with organizations, we will deal with theories on decision making in a variety of organizations (companies, universities and membership-based associations); we will explore the problem of power and the influence of environment (micro-politics, resource dependency, institutional theory of organizations), which helps us to understand the limits of organizational learning and the impressive isomorphic pressure driving organizational fields such as a industries, educational systems or the European Union (e.g. Bologna Process). Institutional theory has been developed and used across the different disciplines of social science. Going a step further, we will contrast the sociological neo-institutionalism with theories of institutions in political economy that explore phenomena such as path dependency, recombination and other forms of institutional change. We will explore their contribution to questions looking at why political reforms are usually incremental and why institutional legacies remain significant even in revolutionary situations like the regime breakdown in Eastern Europe after 1989.