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Inhabited Actors: Internalizing Institutions through Communication and Actorhood Models

Alex Bitektine, Patrick Haack, Joel Bothello and Johanna Mair

Journal of Management Studies, 2020, vol. 57, issue 4, 885-897

Abstract: We argue that accounts of relationships among actors, actorhood and institutions are predominantly based on a spatial metaphor of actors operating within institutions. We outline how an inversion of this metaphor – i.e., the perspective that institutions inhabit actors – may prove generative for theory, particularly with respect to recent discussions about the microfoundations of institutions. We outline how communication and actorhood models function as transmission mechanisms of institutions from one actor to another. We conclude with a discussion of how the inverted metaphor of institutions inhabiting actors can be useful for future theoretical developments.

Date: 2020
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