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What Does It Mean to Say That Behavior in Organizations Is an Institution or Is Institutionalized - Essay Example

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This paper under the following headline "What Does It Mean to Say That Behavior in Organizations Is an Institution or Is Institutionalized?" focuses on the fact that to this day, the term “institution” has no one single definition that best describes it. …
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What Does It Mean to Say That Behavior in Organizations Is an Institution or Is Institutionalized
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Download file to see previous pages In organizations, the term “institutionalized” has been controversially applied in determining what it really means in terms of defining behaviour. If institutionalization is the structuring of social interaction, how does it influence behaviour in organizations? The following study will seek to explain what it means to say that behaviour in an organization is institutionalized, or is an institution, by comparing two kinds of literature based on this concept; Thomas Luckmann and Peter Berger’s The Social Construction of Reality, and John Meyer and Brian Rowan’s Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure As Myth and Ceremony.

Evident between the two kinds of literature is that they both agree to the definition of the institutionalization theory, which states that social behaviour is guided by created schemes and structures that establish authoritative aspects such as routines, norms, and rules, to mention but a few. Meyer and Rowan define institutionalization as “the processes by which social processes, obligations, or actualities come to take on a rule-like status in social thought and action” (41). A much similar definition is offered by Berger and Thomas (72) who define institutionalization as “that occurs whenever there is a reciprocal typification of habitualized actions by types of actors”.

Berger and Thomas state that “all human activity is subject to habitualization” (53). They further explain that actions that are habitualized retain their meaning to a character and always work to guide their behaviour in the future. The relationship they offer between a habit and institutionalization is that institutionalization is created by habitualized actions. As such, an organization may come up with a policy or rule of going about an activity which owing to its demanding nature ends up as a habit to everyone involved. Similarly, Meyer and Rowan argue that “…organizations are understood to be systems of coordinated and controlled activities… of technical and boundary-spanning exchanges” (340).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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