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Susanna Johansson. Foto: Patrik Hekkala

Susanna Johansson

Universitetslektor och docent i socialt arbete

Susanna Johansson. Foto: Patrik Hekkala

Institutions, rules and norms in collaboration


  • Susanna Johansson

Summary, in English

Within institutional theory of organization, regulative, normative as well as cultural-cognitive elements play a central role when studying patterns of thought and action within and between organizations. In similar way, theory building within sociology of law has devoted vast interest in norms and rules as determinant for human action. To a great extent, the perspectives have nevertheless developed independently from each other. In this paper similarities and differences are therefore explored between the two perspectives, as well as between the central concepts institutions and norms. In addition, the view on law within each perspective is given special attention, and thereby the importance of law and legal rules for patterns of thought and action. The comparison, and proposed combination, is exemplified in relation to analyzing contexts of inter-organizational collaboration where multiple institutional elements (such as rules and norms) often collide. The paper shows possibilities for a fruitful integration of the two perspectives. An integrative framework is presented which especially developes and elucidates how rules and norms interact with (other) institutional elements, to some extent transforming the meaning of law in collaboration, i.e. how normativity comes about in complex contexts of inter-organizational collaboration through processes of structuration.


  • Socialhögskolan








  • Social Work

Conference name

The Normative Anatomy of Society, 2012

Conference date

2012-04-24 - 2012-04-25

Conference place

Lund, Sweden