DOI: 10.1177/26317877231194368 ISSN: 2631-7877

Institutions and Their Social Construction: A Cross-Level Perspective

William Ocasio
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Defining institutions as taken-for-granted systems of roles and interactions, this paper presents a novel theoretical integration of hereto disparate micro and macro approaches to their social construction. Building on and modifying Berger and Luckmann (1967), I emphasize the social and cultural embeddedness of the phenomenological experience of institutions and their embodiment in organizations and organizing practices. The paper identifies mechanisms by which micro-institutions emerge at the intra-organizational level and how institutionalization is shaped across the multiple levels of organizations, geographic communities, organizational fields, societies, and the world system. It proposes that the locus of sedimentation, and hence institutionalization, occurs at multiple levels, which are culturally embedded within higher-level institutional orders of society and the world system. It further proposes that the generation of a committed network of role practitioners is a critical component of institutionalization.

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