The 'institutional' approach to organizational research has shown how enduring features of social life - such as marriage and bureaucracy - act as mechanisms of social control. Such approaches have traditionally focused attention on the relationships between organizations and the fields in which they operate, providing strong accounts of the processes through which institutions govern action. In contrast, the study of institutional work reorients these traditional concerns, shifting the focus to understanding how action affects institutions. This book sets a research agenda within the field of institutional work by analyzing the ways in which individuals, groups, and organizations work to create, maintain, and disrupt the institutions that structure their lives. Through a series of essays and case studies, it explores the conceptual core of institutional work, identifies institutional work strategies, provides exemplars for future empirical research, and embeds the concept within broader sociological debates and ideas.

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