AJS 113(1) the mother(org)load


The latest issue of AJS is jam-packed with stuff that should be of interest to all org-heads out there:



  • The lead article by Espeland and Sauder ” Rankings and Reactivity: How Public Measures Recreate Social Worlds” deals with a topic that was recently brought up in this forum (which tells you that we are teetering so close to the cutting edge that we are going to either soon fall off or get seriously maimed): the effects of rankings on organizations. Espeland and Sauder discuss both the intended and unintended consequences of instituting commensuration where there was previously none, and they of course discuss “performativity,” although they stick to the old fashioned idea of a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
  • Victoria Johnson has a historical study of the French Opera in which she “unpacks” Stinchcombe’s highly influential notion of “organizational imprinting” using detailed insights from her case. Consistent with research research on the “new structuralism” in organizational analysis, she highlights the role of entrepreneurship, historical contingency and culture in the imprinting process.
  • Sarah Babb, explores the influence of classic organizational mechanisms of bounded rationality, choice under uncertainty and the institutional influence of powerful actors and processes in the organizational environment. Her case? The puzzle posed by the IMF’s adoption of an “orthodox” neoclassical prescription package for developing economies during the immediate post-war period even as the developed world was under the hegemonic influence of Keynesianism.
  • Caroline Lee discusses the role of informal networks in defusing consensus between different groups of stakeholders in regional state planning projects. (If you follow orgtheory you know that stakeholder theory is one of Brayden’s many interests).
  • Finally for econ-soc heads out-there, Molm, Collett and Schaefer provide a experimental test of a theory of generalized exchange which attempts to explain the classic Levi-Straussian conjecture that indirect reciprocity leads to higher levels of “generalized” solidarity for the group as a whole than other forms of restricted and negotiated exchange.

Written by Omar

July 5, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Posted in omar, research

2 Responses

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  1. Yes, this really is a loaded issue. I need to pick it up and read a few of these articles while I’m away on a brief family vacation. Nothing more relaxing than sitting on a lake in a boat while considering the nuances of generalized solidarity.



    July 5, 2007 at 7:47 pm

  2. […] Omar mentioned earlier, the latest issue of AJS is loaded with great material for orgheads.  I was particularly […]


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