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Seeing institutions in different ways
Seeing institutions in different ways

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4.4 Identifying a conceptual framework

I have produced what is becoming a long list of concepts that are important in helping us to understand institutions and institutional development:

  • rules and norms
  • meanings and values
  • big players
  • compliance
  • shared experience
  • individual agency
  • institutional contradictions
  • relationships
  • power
  • levels of action: macro, meso, micro.

I want to draw this course’s studies to a close by suggesting you can treat this set of concepts – or, indeed, any other set you might have created – as a conceptual framework. By ‘conceptual framework’ I mean that these concepts can be connected with each other, enabling you to look at institutions and institutional development in a disciplined and powerful fashion.

I will illustrate what I mean by using these concepts to analyse a particular institutional landscape that I’ve needed to understand in my own work.