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Institutional rationality and practice variation: New directions in the institutional analysis of practice

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  • Lounsbury, Michael

Abstract

In this paper, I highlight how popular understandings of neoinstitutionalism as a theory of isomorphism need to be revised as institutionalists have shifted attention towards the study of organizational heterogeneity. As part of this shift, old emphases on arational mimicry and stability have been replaced with new emphases on institutional rationality and ongoing struggle and change. I discuss these new directions and the implications for the study of accounting practice. I argue that given recent efforts by institutionalists to account for actors and practice diversity, there is an important opportunity for dialogue with practice theorists, such as those drawing on Actor Network Theory, and the creation of a more comprehensive approach to the study of practice that attends to both institutional and micro-processual dynamics.

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  • Lounsbury, Michael, 2008. "Institutional rationality and practice variation: New directions in the institutional analysis of practice," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(4-5), pages 349-361.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:33:y:2008:i:4-5:p:349-361
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