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Finding the Organization in Organizational Theory: A Meta-theory of the Organization as a Social Actor, Organization Science

Abstract

Organization theory is a theory without a protagonist. Organizations are typically portrayed in organizational scholarship as aggregations of individuals, as instantiations of the environment, as nodes in a social network, as members of a population, or as a bundle of organizing processes. This paper hopes to highlight the need for understanding, explicating and researching the enduring, noun-like qualities of the organization. We situate the organization in a broader social landscape by examining what is unique about the organization as a social actor. We propose two assumptions that underlie our conceptualization of organizations as social actors: external attribution and intentionality. We then highlight important questions and implications forming the core of a distinctively organizational analytical perspective.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Brayden King, Teppo Felin, David Whetten

Date Published

2010

Citations

King, Brayden, Teppo Felin, and David Whetten. 2010. Finding the Organization in Organizational Theory: A Meta-theory of the Organization as a Social Actor. Organization Science. 21: 290-305.

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