Vienna Pratern

Workshop on Institutional Analysis 2012

SCANCOR PhD Workshop

Vienna University of Economics and Business

August 27 – 31, 2012


This is the tenth Scancor workshop for Nordic and European doctoral students. The audience for this workshop is PhD students with an interest in recent research in institutional theory and organizational studies more generally. Previous workshops have been held at Stanford University, Copenhagen Business School, Helsinki School of Economics, IESE Barcelona and the University of Mannheim.


The goal of the workshop is to enable PhD students to pursue their research more effectively, using novel research methods to examine theoretically important questions. In recent decades, institutional theory has expanded outside its origins in the United States to many settings around the world. This perspective has been valuable in explaining, among other things, the adoption of organizational structures, the incorporation of social movement ideas and goals inside organizations, and the global spread of management practice. The course provides students with a thorough grounding in the canonical works of institutional theory, an overview of recent lines of research, and an introduction to the diverse methodological tools used by scholars pursuing these ideas.


Institutional theory has been a dominant school of thought in organization theory for the past three decades.  Nonetheless, this approach faces several key theoretical and methodological challenges. This workshop brings together scholars who are developing novel solutions to these challenges, most notably to issues of change and agency, as well as measurement of institutional influences and effects. The faculty will present current research, review recent papers, and discuss new methodological tools that deepen the research agenda. We pay special attention to issues of institutional emergence, persistence, and transformation. We also emphasize methods of comparative, archival, and network analysis. Finally, we tackle fundamental issues involving globalization, competing institutional logics, and contestation.


The workshop is organized around three related features: (1) a research seminar where faculty from the U.S. and Europe present current research; (2) sessions for doctoral students devoted to discussing both classic and contemporary theoretical developments within institutional theory; and (3) sessions focusing on the research methods that advance institutional research. Students will take away new insights and tools, and a deeper understanding of how to match conceptual questions with research methods. The workshop will prepare PhD students to carry out their own individual research using the methods of institutional analysis.