Toward a theory of institutional analysis
Author(s)Nutt-Powell, Thomas E.
This paper provides the basic analytic framework for institutional analysis with particular reference to the acceptance of innovations. A theory of institutions is developed, then assessed in light of various theories of organizations. It is posited that there are six types of institutional entities -- formal and informal organizations, members, persons, collectivities and social orders. Institutions are characterized by function, activity and role. Institutional action consists of exchanges for which the critical datum is information. Such exchanges occur within an institutional arena. Innovation forces institutional action by disrupting existing social meaning. Based on this theory a methodology is developed which enables study of innovation acceptance in various institutional arenas. The methodology involves several steps: (1) Determine study sector and purpose; (2) Preliminary sector exploration; (3) Construct hypothesized institutional arena; (4) Identify perturbation prompter; (5) Devise specific research design; (6) Monitor perturbation; (7) Analyze institutional arena.
MIT Energy Laboratory
Organization, Social change., Technological innovations |x Social aspects.
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