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Conventions: an interpretation of deep structure in organizations

Gomez, Pierre-Yves and Jones, Brittany C. (2000) Conventions: an interpretation of deep structure in organizations. Organization Science, 11 (6). pp. 696-708. ISSN 1047-7039

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Identification Number: 10.1287/orsc.11.6.696.12530


Explores the role of convention in human action, and discusses two types of uncertainty, firstly where no past example exists, secondly, where others can influence an outcome, suggests that coping with uncertainty is a problem of rationalization not rationality. Debates justification, underlines that justification for one's actions appears to be a basic human need, contends that 'rational voids' exist where individuals assume common acceptance, and therefore justification is not needed. Discusses the role of symbols and semiotics in rational voids and common acceptance. Draws the foregoing elements into a definition that states that convention eliminates uncertainty, is evolutionary stable, provides a rational void and is based on shared belief. Looks at situations where individuals are subject to competing conventions, selection processes when deciding which convention to follow, and compares coherence and dissonance, and individual and collective rationalization. Advocates that managers accept the inevitable existence of hidden beliefs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2000 INFORMS
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2012 12:49
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2023 06:42

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