How to Look Two Ways at Once

Research Strategies for Inhabited Institutionalism 1

Authored by: Michael A. Haedicke , Tim Hallett

Handbook of Qualitative Organizational Research

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848725096
eBook ISBN: 9781315849072
Adobe ISBN: 9781317908784


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How do institutionalized meanings and the environments in which organizations operate influence culture and action within organizations? How do people in organizations reproduce, disrupt, and recreate meanings that are institutionalized in organizational fields? These questions guide the growing stream of research that is coming to be known as inhabited institutionalism (II). In its questions and its methodological design, II research is Janus-faced. Methodologically, researchers look outward to the broader relationships and understandings that condition organizational life, and inward toward the construction of meaning in organizational settings. Analytically, they move between quasi-deductive moments and more inductive moments, with the moments of surprise that inevitably arise in qualitative research serving as a shifting point between these positions.

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