History, society, and institutions: The role of collective memory in the emergence and evolution of societal logics

William Ocasio, Michael Mauskapf, Christopher W.J. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

We examine the role of history in organization studies by theorizing how collectivememory shapes societal institutions and the logics that govern them. We propose that, rather than transhistorical ideal types, societal logics are historically constituted cultural structures generated through the collectivememory of historical events. Wethen develop a theoretical model to explain howthe representation, storage, and retrieval of collectivememory lead to the emergence of societal logics. In turn, societal logics shape memory making and the reproduction and reconstruction of history itself. To illustrate our theory, we discuss the rise of the corporate logic in the United States.We identify two sources of discontinuity that can disrupt this memory-making process and create notable disjunctures in the evolution of societal logics. We conclude by discussing how changes in collective memory and the historical trajectory of societal logics shape organizational forms and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-699
Number of pages24
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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