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Situating frames and institutional logics: The social situation as a key institutional micro-foundation

Furnari, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-3212-6604 (2019). Situating frames and institutional logics: The social situation as a key institutional micro-foundation. In: Haacke, P., Sieweke, J. & Wessel, L. (Eds.), Microfoundations of Institutions (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 65B). (pp. 193-209). Bingley, England: Emerald Publishing Group. doi: 10.1108/S0733-558X2019000065B015


Research on institutional logics has highlighted the importance of social situations but has not theorized such situations in a way that takes into account their inherent richness, complexity, and unpredictability. Without a theory of social situations, the connection between logics and people’s everyday life experience is incomplete, resulting in fragile microfoundations. Building on Goffman (1974) and the institutional logics perspective, in this essay I sketch an institutional theory of social situations, distinguishing two components of these situations: situational experience and situated interactions. Situational experience is constituted by situational frames – that is, schemas by which a person can perceive others and interpret the source of their agency in a situation. Multiple situational frames are simultaneously present in any situation, offering various potentials for action. Institutional logics shape the content that situational frames take in different institutional orders, providing rules for interacting appropriately in typified situations. However, the actual interactions unfolding in a given social situation do not necessarily conform to situational frames, but rather can transform those frames in unpredictable ways through interaction rituals and frame keyings. I contrast this situated perspective with the cognitivist notion that people “activate” or re-combine pre-existing aspects of logics depending on the situation. I argue that a situated perspective better accounts for the generative and transformative potential of micro-interactions.

Publication Type: Book Section
Publisher Keywords: institutional logics; frames; inhabited institutions; practice-driven institutionalism; symbolic interactionism; Goffman; situation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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