Understanding Institutional Endurance: The Role of Dynamic Form, Harmony and Rhythm in Institutions

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With this article I hope to contribute to a more adequate explanation of institutional endurance. I argue that current explanations in the neoinstitutional literature suffer from two problems. The first is a rational-cognitive bias coupled with an overemphasis on the role of actors. The second is the unexplained source of autonomy and externality in the definition of institutions. I propose to solve these problems by introducing an aisthetic perspective on institutional endurance. This perspective should not replace but, rather, supplement existing models and theories. The aisthetic perspective conceptualizes institutions as social processes with aisthetic qualities, such as harmony and rhythm. These aisthetic qualities can be felt and perceived, resulting in a positive or negative experience of the institution that, in turn, promotes its reproduction (or not).

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)321-335
Publication statusPublished - 1. Apr 2019


  • institutional endurance, feelings, perceptions, harmony, rhythm, pleasure, cognitivist bias, externality, autopoiesis


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