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John W. Meyer

The final chapter by John Meyer makes clear the long trajectory neo-institutional research and theory has taken, from the initial formulations and seminal papers in the late 1970s and early 1980s to our current selection of papers that make up the chapters in this volume. Classical texts focus squarely on the embeddedness of organizations in broader societal environments and analyze these linkages, while focusing less explicitly on the inner side of organizations. This inner side, organizations’ internal differentiation, contradictions, and conflicts as well as the activities and orientations of individual and organizational actors come to the forefront in our book. In addition, Meyer’s chapter makes clear that we need a broader historical perspective in order to take the current organizational forms and the unprecedented rise of organizations in the modern, globalized, and (neo-) liberal era into account. The unquestioned verities of this (modern) era have to be seen as socio-historical constructs that evolved over time and that are increasingly questioned now and, therefore, might look different in the future.

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John W. Meyer