The Place of Culture in Organization Theory: Introducing the Morphogenetic Approach

Organization 7 (1):95-128 (2000)
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As Allaire and Firsirotu (1984) pointed out over a decade ago, the concept of culture seemed to be sliding inexorably into a superficial explanatory pool that promised everything and nothing. However, since then, some sophisticated and interesting theoretical developments have prevented drowning in the pool of superficiality and hence theoretical redundancy. The purpose of this article is to build upon such theoretical developments and to introduce an approach that maintains that culture can be theorized in the same way as structure, possessing irreducible powers and properties that predispose organizational actors towards specific courses of action. The morphogenetic approach is the methodological complement of transcendental realism, providing explanatory leverage on the conditions that maintain for cultural change or stability.
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