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Functionalism Revisited: A practice based Functionalism
Unformatted Document Text:  Functionalism Revisited 15 Structurational Approach The third approach is based on the theory of Structuration (Giddens, 1979, 1984), which emphasizes the inseparable, mutual influences between structural forces and individuals (organizations) actions. The third view is the least developed area, at least in empirical findings, in organizational studies because the foremost-recognized idea of the structurational approach, theory of Structuration does not provide a concrete methodological ground to investigate the logic behind IOR. Two theoretical works are discussed: (1) Social embeddedness in social network by Granovetter, and (2) Theory of Structuration by Giddens. Social Embeddedness in Social Network Granovetter (1992; 1985) takes a unique position in the explanation of economic behaviors and institution. Like many other sociologists, he focuses on the problem of order in individual economic behaviors – i.e., how is it that there is something common about individual actions and relations? He points out that most explanations of economic actions (economics and sociology) and institutions stem from the assumption of an atomized individual. Specifically, he argues that sociologists (mostly, functionalists and structuralists) tend to employ an over-socialized individual and explain how the social, economic institution influences the individual actions. In other words, economic actions are monotonously internalized through an unquestionable process. Economists have a long tradition of regarding economic actions as rational individual choices (polarized around one’s self-interests). Granovetter points out that its root stems from the utilitarian approaches such as Hobbes, Hume, and Bentham; and argues that Ricardo (1861) provided a concrete version of an individual for the modern economics by excluding non-economic matters and emphasizing rationalized choices. That is, unlike in sociological approaches, an under-socialized individual is employed to explain how the economic environment works as a result of the actions of rationalized individuals in economics approaches.

Authors: Kim, Hyo.
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Functionalism Revisited 15
Structurational Approach
The third approach is based on the theory of Structuration (Giddens, 1979, 1984), which
emphasizes the inseparable, mutual influences between structural forces and individuals (organizations)
actions. The third view is the least developed area, at least in empirical findings, in organizational studies
because the foremost-recognized idea of the structurational approach, theory of Structuration does not
provide a concrete methodological ground to investigate the logic behind IOR. Two theoretical works are
discussed: (1) Social embeddedness in social network by Granovetter, and (2) Theory of Structuration by
Giddens.
Social Embeddedness in Social Network
Granovetter (1992; 1985) takes a unique position in the explanation of economic behaviors and
institution. Like many other sociologists, he focuses on the problem of order in individual economic
behaviors – i.e., how is it that there is something common about individual actions and relations? He
points out that most explanations of economic actions (economics and sociology) and institutions stem
from the assumption of an atomized individual. Specifically, he argues that sociologists (mostly,
functionalists and structuralists) tend to employ an over-socialized individual and explain how the social,
economic institution influences the individual actions. In other words, economic actions are
monotonously internalized through an unquestionable process. Economists have a long tradition of
regarding economic actions as rational individual choices (polarized around one’s self-interests).
Granovetter points out that its root stems from the utilitarian approaches such as Hobbes, Hume, and
Bentham; and argues that Ricardo (1861) provided a concrete version of an individual for the modern
economics by excluding non-economic matters and emphasizing rationalized choices. That is, unlike in
sociological approaches, an under-socialized individual is employed to explain how the economic
environment works as a result of the actions of rationalized individuals in economics approaches.


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