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Varieties of institutional theory in comparative employment relations

Morgan, Glenn and Hauptmeier, Marco ORCID: 2014. Varieties of institutional theory in comparative employment relations. Wilkinson, Adrian, Wood, Geoffrey and Deeg, Richard, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Employment Relations - Comparative Employment Systems, Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 190-221. (10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199695096.013.009)

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This chapter explores four variants of institutionalism and what they can tell us about the nature and evolution of employment relations. Rational choice institutionalism’s strength in explaining stable institutional equilibria helps us understand why employment relations systems evolve slowly in a path-dependent fashion. Historical institutionalism takes a more actor-centric approach that attributes greater latitude to actors in interpreting how institutions are to be applied and in reshaping those institutions along with their shifting preferences. Sociological institutionalism moves further away from rational choice conceptions by positing that actors are guided by a ‘logic of appropriateness’. This approach seems particularly useful in understanding how certain practices diffuse from one setting to another. Constructivist institutionalism gives greater explanatory weight to the substantive content of ideas themselves in shaping actor behaviour and institutional change. In conclusion the authors suggest some ways that comparative employment research can profit from engaging with all four variants of institutionalism.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199695096
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Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 07:57

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