The proliferation and profusion of actors in institutional theory

Hokyu Hwang, Jeannette A. Colyvas, Gili S. Drori

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The social sciences and institutional theory have seen the proliferation of the term actor and the profusion of its meanings. Despite the importance and ubiquity of actor in institutional theory, the term is largely taken-for-granted, which has stunted the development of institutional theories of actors. The authors aspire to spur theorization of actor in institutional theory in the hope of carving out institutional theories of actor in the collective research agenda. The authors first contextualize their interest in actor in institutional theory and discuss the intellectual context within which the authors put this agenda forward. The authors briefly sketch out the main themes that would provide fruitful areas of inquiry in this new agenda and bring together a variety of strands in institutional theory with a clear focus on the relationship between institutions and actors. The authors conclude by discussing the contributions included in the volume.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
ISSN (Print)0733-558X

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by Emerald Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.


  • Actor
  • Institution
  • Institutional theory
  • Rationalization
  • Social construction
  • Theorization


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