Contemporary articles citing Pfeffer J (1978) External Control Org
emergence, issues, current, led, understanding, studies, theories, provide, developed, then
- Chang, Kuang-chi. 2011. "A Path to Understanding Guanxi in China's Transitional Economy: Variations on Network Behavior*." Sociological Theory. 29:4 315-339.
- Current research on guanxi (Chinese social connections) suffers from conceptual confusion. This article presents a new theoretical framework for understanding guanxi in the face of China's economic and social transformations. Guanxi is viewed as a purposive network behavior that can take different strategic forms, such as accessing, bridging, and embedding. Pairing this conceptualization with a social-evolutionary framework, I argue that the emergence and increasing or decreasing prevalence of each form over time result from (1) a combination of factors at three analytical levelsmicroagency, mesonetwork, and macroinstitutionaland (2) endogenous processes of selection. By focusing on behavioral forms and their evolution, this framework is able to bridge divides in the guanxi literature, provide a foundation for comparative studies of network behavior across societies, and connect the study of guanxi with economic sociology more broadly.
- Berger, J, D Willer & M Zelditch. 2005. "Theory Programs and Theoretical Problems." Sociological Theory. 23:2 127-155.
- Some sociologists argue that sociological theory does not grow and the reason why it does not grow is that the discipline lacks a core of highly developed, almost universally accepted, paradigms; even worse, because it is reflexive, its criteria of problem and theory choice are so noncognitive that there are no paradigms, hence no progress, in its future. We do not question that sociology lacks a core of almost universally accepted paradigms, nor that highly developed paradigms may be a sufficient condition of theory growth, but we question both that universal acceptance of them is necessary and that sociology has nothing like them. We argue that theoretical research programs-sets of strategies, sets of interrelated theories embodying these strategies, and empirical models interpreting these theories-are sufficient for theoretical growth. An examination of three theoretical research programs in this article shows that they perform some of the same functions for theory growth as, in Kuhn, are performed by paradigms. Sociology may lack a universally accepted core, but there are theoretical research programs in sociology, and therefore already there is theory growth if it is looked for in the right place. Nor is there any warrant for the view that because its criteria of problem and theory choice are inescapably noncognitive, there are no paradigms, hence no progress, in sociology's future. If that were true, not only would sociology lack paradigms, but also theoretical research programs. We conclude from our study that sociology need not wait on the emergence of a universally accepted core. It is sufficient for the growth of theory that it develops further its existing theoretical research programs and that it encourages the creation of new programs.
- Webster, M & JM Whitmeyer. 2001. "Applications of Theories of Group Processes." Sociological Theory. 19:3 250-270.
- Theories of group processes have been and are being applied usefully to natural situations. We review a selection of these theories and examine different types of applications and interventions to which they have led. We then offer a typology of application, five ``stages'' with examples. As theoretical application proceeds, issues of complexity, rules of correspondence, and competing social interests increase the difficulty of that work, yet the benefits are considerable for theoretical development.
- Liu, TL. 1998. "Policy Shifts and State Agencies: Britain and Germany, 1918-1933." Theory and Society. 27:1 43-82.
- Mizruchi, MS. 2004. "Berle and Means Revisited: the Governance and Power of Large Us Corporations." Theory and Society. 33:5 579-617.
- In The Modern Corporation and Private Property ( 1932), Berle and Means warned of the concentration of economic power brought on by the rise of the large corporation and the emergence of a powerful class of professional managers, insulated from the pressure not only of stockholders, but of the larger public as well. In the tradition of Thomas Jefferson, Berle and Means warned that the ascendance of management control and unchecked corporate power had potentially serious consequences for the democratic character of the United States. Social scientists who drew on Berle and Means in subsequent decades presented a far more benign interpretation of the rise of managerialism, however. For them, the separation of ownership from control actually led to an increased level of democratization in the society as a whole. Beginning in the late 1960s, sociologists and other social scientists rekindled the debate over ownership and control, culminating in a series of rigorous empirical studies on the nature of corporate power in American society. In recent years, however, sociologists have largely abandoned the topic, ceding it to finance economists, legal scholars, and corporate strategy researchers. In this article, I provide a brief history of the sociological and finance/legal/strategy debates over corporate ownership and control. I discuss some of the similarities between the two streams of thought, and I discuss the reasons that the issue was of such significance sociologically. I then argue that by neglecting this topic in recent years, sociologists have failed to contribute to an understanding of some of the key issues in contemporary business behavior. I provide brief reviews of four loosely developed current perspectives and then present an argument of my own about the changing nature of the U. S. corporate elite over the past three decades. I conclude with a call for sociologists to refocus their attention on an issue that, however fruitfully handled by scholars in other fields, cries out for sociological analysis.
- Binder, Amy. 2007. "For Love and Money: Organizations' Creative Responses to Multiple Environmental Logics." Theory and Society. 36:6 547-571.
- The recent ``inhabited institutions'' research stream in organizational theory reinvigorates new institutionalism by arguing that organizations are not merely the instantiation of environmental, institutional logics ``out there,'' where organizational actors seamlessly enact preconscious scripts, but are places where people and groups make sense of, and interpret, institutional vocabularies of motive. This article advances the inhabited institutions approach through an inductive case study of a transitional housing organization called Parents Community. This organization, like other supportive direct service organizations, exists in an external environment relying increasingly on federal funding. Most scholars studying this sector argue that as federal monies expand to pay for these organizations' services, non-profit organizations will be forced to become ever more bureaucratic and rationalized. However, I find that three key service departments at Parents Community respond in multiple ways to this external environment, depending on each department members' creative uses of institutional logics and local meanings, which emerge from their professional commitments, personal interests, and interactional, on-the-ground decision making. By looking carefully at these three departments' variable responses to the external environment, we have a better map for seeing how human agency is integrated into organizational dynamics for this and other organizations.