Book Chapter

Mary Douglas and Institutions


Pierides D & Sewell G (2019) Mary Douglas and Institutions. In: Clegg S & Pina e Cunha M (eds.) Management, Organizations and Contemporary Social Theory. London: Routledge, pp. 135-157.

We provide reasons why researchers of business and management who are interested in how institutions are related to organization would want to read and use the work of Mary Douglas. One of the central problems about which management and organization theorists still debate is the extent to which the structure of institutions and organizations determines the agency afforded to individuals. We show how Douglas makes space for a treatment of institutions that avoids the usual retreat to methodological individualism that characterises these debates. This holds out the promise of reinvigorating organisational analysis in a manner that is in step with calls for focusing on organization as a way of life and with calls for revisiting the classics.

Mary Douglas; institutions; rational agency; methodological individualism

Publication date12/06/2019
Publisher URL…ok/9780367233778
Place of publicationLondon