The Social Construction of Organizations

1985| Working Paper No. 849

The literature on institutionalization and formal organizational structure is a diffuse and, at time, unclear body of work. The theory of the social construction of reality [Berger and Luckermann, 1967] is offered as a unifying theoretical underpinning for much of this work. The three dialetical moments of institutionalization and legitimation strategies are seen as the key parts of this attempt building an integrative framework, called the social construction of organizations. The development of this framework is followed by an illustrative review of the literature to highlight key points. Finally, the strengths and weakness of this framework are discussed in terms of issues which have been important in the previous work on organizations.