| Academy of Management Journal
Suspended in Self-Spun Webs of Significance: A Rhetorical Model of Institutionalization and Institutionally Embedded Agency
This article employs rhetorical theory to reconceptualize institutionalization as change in argument structure. As a state, institutionalization is embodied in the structure of argument used to justify a practice at a given point in time. As a process, institutionalization is modeled as changes in the structure of arguments used to justify a practice over time. We use rhetoric surrounding the institutionalization of total quality management (TQM) practices within the American business community as a case study to illustrate how conceptualizing institutionalization as changes in argument structure can help show how institutions simultaneously constrain and enable social action.
Management Practices and Processes;