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MonographDOI

Realist social theory : the morphogenetic approach

01 Sep 1997-Social Forces (Cambridge University Press)-Vol. 22, Iss: 1, pp 335

TL;DR: The Morphogenetic Cycle: the basis of the morphogenetic approach 7. Structural and cultural conditioning 8. The morphogenesis of agency 9. Social elaboration.

AbstractBuilding on her seminal contribution to social theory in Culture and Agency, in this 1995 book Margaret Archer develops her morphogenetic approach, applying it to the problem of structure and agency. Since structure and agency constitute different levels of stratified social reality, each possesses distinctive emergent properties which are real and causally efficacious but irreducible to one another. The problem, therefore, is shown to be how to link the two rather than conflate them, as has been common theoretical practice. Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach not only rejects methodological individualism and holism, but argues that the debate between them has been replaced by a new one, between elisionary theorising and emergentist theories based on a realist ontology of the social world. The morphogenetic approach is the sociological complement of transcendental realism, and together they provide a basis for non-conflationary theorizing which is also of direct utility to the practising social analyst.

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Book
01 Jan 1999
TL;DR: Social scientists in a wide range of fields will find this book an essential tool for research, particularly in sociology, economics, anthropology, geography, organizational theory, political science, social policy, cognitive psychology and cognitive science, and it will also appeal to computer scientists interested in distributed artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems and agent technologies.
Abstract: What can computer simulation contribute to the social sciences? Which of the many approaches to simulation would be best for my social science project? How do I design, carry out and analyse the results from a computer simulation? This is a practical textbook on the techniques of building computer simulations to assist understanding of social and economic issues and problems. Interest in social simulation has been growing rapidly worldwide as a result of increasingly powerful hardware and software and also a rising interest in the application of ideas of complexity, evolution, adaptation and chaos in the social sciences. This authoritative book details all the common approaches to social simulation, to provide social scientists with an appreciation of the literature and allow those with some programming skills to create their own simulations.New for this edition is a chapter on how to use simulation as a tool. A new chapter on multi-agent systems has also been added to support the fact that multi-agent modelling has become the preferred approach to simulation. Social scientists in a wide range of fields will find this book an essential tool for research, particularly in sociology, economics, anthropology, geography, organizational theory, political science, social policy, cognitive psychology and cognitive science. It will also appeal to computer scientists interested in distributed artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems and agent technologies.

2,058 citations

Book
01 Jan 2003
TL;DR: Archer as discussed by the authors identifies three distinctive forms of internal conversation, i.e., internal dialogue, internal conversation is seen as being the missing link between society and the individual, structure and agency.
Abstract: The central problem of social theory is 'structure and agency'. How do the objective features of society influence human agents? Determinism is not the answer, nor is conditioning as currently conceptualised. It accentuates the way structure and culture shape the social context in which individuals operate, but it neglects our personal capacity to define what we care about most and to establish a modus vivendi expressive of our concerns. Through inner dialogue, 'the internal conversation', individuals reflect upon their social situation in the light of current concerns and projects. On the basis of a series of unique, in-depth interviews, Archer identifies three distinctive forms of internal conversation. These govern agents' responses to social conditioning, their individual patterns of social mobility and whether or not they contribute to social stability or change. Thus the internal conversation is seen as being the missing link between society and the individual, structure and agency.

1,683 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Peter Gronn1
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Abstract: This article proposes a new unit of analysis in the study of leadership. As an alternative to the current focus, which is primarily on the deeds of individual leaders, the article proposes distributed leadership. The article shows how conventional constructs of leadership have difficulty accommodating changes in the division of labor in the workplace, especially, new patterns of interdependence and coordination which have given rise to distributed practice. A number of forms of distributed leadership are then outlined, in particular, three varieties of concertive action in which a key defining criterion is conjoint agency. These forms provide the basis for a taxonomy of distributed leadership and a review of examples in the literature. The article concludes with a consideration of some implications of the adoption of a revised unit of analysis, particularly for recent work on levels of analysis and for future research into leadership as a process.

1,664 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The use of the term institution has become widespread in the social sciences in recent years, reflecting the growth in institutional economics and the use of institution concept in several other disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, politics, and geography as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The use of the term institution has become widespread in the social sciences in recent years, reflecting the growth in institutional economics and the use of the institution concept in several other disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, politics, and geography. The term has a long history of usage in the social sciences, dating back at least to Giambattista Vico in his Scienza Nuova of 1725. However, even today, there is no unanimity in the definition of this concept. Furthermore, endless disputes over the definitions of key terms such as institution and organization have led some writers to give up matters of definition and to propose getting down somehow to practical matters instead. But it is not possible to carry out any empirical or theoretical analysis of how institutions or organizations work without having some adequate conception of what an institution or an organization is. This paper proposes that those that give up are acting in haste; potentially consensual definitions of these terms are possible, once we overcome a few obstacles and difficulties in the way. It is also important to avoid some biases in the study of institutions, where institutions and characteristics of a particular type are overgeneralized to the set of institutions as a whole. This paper outlines some dangers with regard to an excessive relative stress on self-organization and agent-insensitive institutions. This paper draws on insights from several academic disciplines and is organized in six sections. The first three sections are devoted to the definition and understanding of institutions in general terms. The first section explores the meaning of key terms such as institution, convention, and rule. The second discusses some general issues concerning how institutions function and how they interact with individual agents, their habits,

1,458 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe an institutional framework for the conceptualization of management accounting change. But they do not discuss the role of organizational routines and institutions in shaping the processes of change, and three categorizations of institutional change are explored.
Abstract: Starting from the position that management accounting systems and practices constitute organizational rules and routines, this paper describes an institutional framework for the conceptualization of management accounting change. Drawing from (old) institutional economics, the framework explores the complex and ongoing relationship between actions and institutions, and demonstrates the importance of organizational routines and institutions in shaping the processes of management accounting change. The inherent stability and continuity of organizational life is discussed, and three categorizations of institutional change are explored. The framework is offered as a starting point for researchers interested in studying management accounting change, and through such studies the framework will be extended and refined.

1,424 citations