Microfoundations of Institutions and the Theory of Action

Cardinale, Ivano. 2019. Microfoundations of Institutions and the Theory of Action. Academy of Management Review, 44(2), pp. 467-470. ISSN 0363-7425 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this article, I argue that progress with microfoundations in institutional theory requires a suitable theory of individual action—i.e., one which overcomes the shortcomings of how agency and structure are typically conceived of. I contend that my previous article on action within institutions (Cardinale, I. 2018. Beyond Constraining and Enabling: Toward New Microfoundations of Institutional Theory. Academy of Management Review, 43: 132-155) provides such a theory. However, the fact that it is a theory of individual action does not imply that the individual level is always the most explanatorily relevant. Rather, the theory provides insights on individual action that are useful—in different ways—no matter the level of analysis. I go on to show how the theory can contribute to the multilevel analysis of institutions.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies
Institute of Management Studies > Structural Economic Analysis


13 September 2018Accepted
30 October 2018Published Online
22 April 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

27 Nov 2018 16:38

Last Modified:

19 Feb 2024 16:40

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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