The institutionality of a mediatized organizational environment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Introduction Organizations today exist in a mediatized environment, not by virtue of the rise of the media industry, but by virtue of new media technology and the emergence of a global data network. Our thesis is that the global data network exerts institutional force on all contemporary organizations. Any social arrangement, even those durable enough to be described as institutions, may be challenged by a change in the configuration of technologies available for communication. Over the past century or two, we argue, the sporadic invention of new means of communication has given way to a sustained enterprise of extending the human capacity for communicating. Both the idea and the practice of redesigning our communication environment have become institutionalized, along with an increasingly indispensable communications infrastructure. Part of the evidence for this institutionalization of the mediatized environment is that the ideas and practices of redesigned communication exhibit the endurance, reach, encumbency, and intentionality that characterize other institutions (Lammers 2011). Additional evidence is found in the ability of emerging media configurations to act with institutional force on a wide variety of other durable social arrangements. We build our argument in five parts: first, we specify in detail what we mean by mediatization, contrasting our definition with the prevailing view. Second, we focus on the current episode of mediatization, the emergence of a worldwide data network. Third, we argue that mediatization is an example of institutional force, which we define and discuss. Fourth, we apply the idea of institutional force to the profound effects of mediatization on contemporary organizations. Finally we reflect briefly on one example of such force in the case of higher education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrganizations and the Media
Subtitle of host publicationOrganizing in a Mediatized World
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781135081645
ISBN (Print)9780415813655
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Lammers, J. C., & Jackson, S. A. (2014). The institutionality of a mediatized organizational environment. In Organizations and the Media: Organizing in a Mediatized World (pp. 33-47). Taylor and Francis.