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Functionalism Revisited: A practice based Functionalism
Unformatted Document Text:  Functionalism Revisited 1 Running head: FUNCTIONALISM REVISITED Abstract This paper reviews theoretical works in three approaches in organizational research: (1) rationalized individual model (Transaction Cost Economics and Principal Agent Theory), (2) structuralism/functionalism model (Resource Dependence Theory and Institutional Theory), and (3) structurational model (Granovetter’s Social Embeddedness Model and Giddens’ Structuration Theory). Reviewing the last approach in depth, this paper points out that it has been recognized as an important guideline for studying organizational phenomena even in two other approaches, which resulted in an emphasis on individual actions over structural forces. However, the concepts found in Giddens’ Theory of Structuration – regularity, ontological security, deep lying mode of tension management, etc. – suggest that the first two approaches are not incompatible with the structurational approach. This paper argues that (1) once sui-generis characteristics of functionalism and structuralism are discarded, and (2) the fact that regularities (structural forces and functional characteristics) found in organizational studies are based upon organizations’ actions in a specific organizational and economic institution is acknowledged, functionalism and structuralism might enhance the structurational approach.

Authors: Kim, Hyo.
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Functionalism Revisited 1
Running head: FUNCTIONALISM REVISITED
Abstract
This paper reviews theoretical works in three approaches in organizational research: (1)
rationalized individual model (Transaction Cost Economics and Principal Agent Theory), (2)
structuralism/functionalism model (Resource Dependence Theory and Institutional Theory), and (3)
structurational model (Granovetter’s Social Embeddedness Model and Giddens’ Structuration Theory).
Reviewing the last approach in depth, this paper points out that it has been recognized as an important
guideline for studying organizational phenomena even in two other approaches, which resulted in an
emphasis on individual actions over structural forces. However, the concepts found in Giddens’ Theory
of Structuration – regularity, ontological security, deep lying mode of tension management, etc. – suggest
that the first two approaches are not incompatible with the structurational approach. This paper argues
that (1) once sui-generis characteristics of functionalism and structuralism are discarded, and (2) the fact
that regularities (structural forces and functional characteristics) found in organizational studies are
based upon organizations’ actions in a specific organizational and economic institution is acknowledged,
functionalism and structuralism might enhance the structurational approach.


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