The power of institutions and the power of institutional theory?

Seminar on institutional theory arranged by the Department of Organization

Monday, May 10, 2004 - 13:00 to Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 16:05

The Department of Organization invites to a seminar on institutional theory.

Institutional theory is now thoroughly institutionalized in a number of social science disciplines, including several disciplines related to the study of business and economic organization. However, institutionalization has both entailed diversification and a certain taken-for-grantedness in debates on institutions. The purpose of our seminar is to identify the particular and sometimes contradictory contributions of institutional theory and to explore future challenges to institutionalism. Two main challenges facing institutional theory today will be dealt with: how to deal with power and how to deal with institutional change. In order to address these challenges the Department of Organization has invited two distinguished sociologists and institutionalists, John L. Campbell (Dartmouth College) and Frank Dobbin (Harvard University) to consider the following three questions:

  • Why do we need a theory of institutions – in the study of economic organization?

  • What issues should a robust theory of institutions be able to address?

  • What urgent challenges does institutional theory face – especially with regard to power and institutional change?


  • Introduction: Jesper Strandgaard & Peter Kjaer (Department of Organization, CBS)

  • John Campbell (Dartmouth College): "How Do Institutions (and Institutional Theories) Change?"

  • Frank Dobbin (Harvard University): "Coercion, Persuasion, and Institutional Change"?

  • Discussion

For more details, contact Peter Kjær ( or Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen (, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School

The page was last edited by: Communications // 05/10/2004