Posted by: nsrupidara | June 19, 2015

Catatan-catatan lama yang tersimpan # 1

Perjalanan intelektual selalu memfasilitasi perjumpaan-perjumpaan dengan gagasan-gagasan, dengan orang-orang lain, bahkan kadang dengan pikiran-pikiran sendiri yang muncul sebagai interaksi kontekstual pada waktunya. Catatan di bawah ini bersumber dari diskusi pribadi yang pernah saya alami dengan Prof. W. Richard Scott di ruang kerjanya di Dept. of Sociology, Stanford University, di gedung yang namanya Main Quadrangle. Perjumpaan dan percakapan dengan tokoh besar di kajian kelembagaan (sosiologis/organisasi) ini tentu sebuah momen yang berharga. Menerima inputs atau belajar dari Dick Scott secara langsung sudah mewarnai perjalanan pemikiran kelembagaan saya. Namun pembelajaran seperti ini bisa jadi menghilang begitu saja. Karena itu, catatan dari percakapan dengan beliau, walaupun tidak semua hal bisa terekam dan mungkin ada tambahan-tambahan catatan pribadi pasca pertemuan itu, baik untuk disimpan untuk menjadi dokumen perjalanan intelektual yang telah ditempuh.

Sebagai catatan tambahan, saya bertemu Scott sekembalinya dari Alberta Business School, Canada, menghadiri sebuah konferensi kelompok kelembagaan di sana. Saya sendiri baru juga menghadiri konferensi IHRM di Santa Fe, New Mexico, memresentasikan paper yang Scott juga baca dan berikan catatan-catatannya. Scott-lah mengijinkan saya datang Stanford, membantu agar saya bisa menggunakan fasilitas perpustakaan dengan posisinya sebagai penjamin, juga membantu saya ketika memesan kamar di Stanford Guest House. Kepada saya juga dipinjamkannya sejumlah buku untuk dibaca selama berada seminggu di Palo Alto. Tentu saya tidak bisa menyelesaikan membaca semua hal, tetapi kemurahan hatinya untuk mendukung seorang seperti saya adalah berkat Tuhan. May God bless you, Dick.

Notes from the discussions with Prof. Dick Scott

Historical institutionalism

The IIRA paper is a typical historical institutional paper. This type of analysis is very specific, although it has limitation to generalize.

Power and institutions in the paper

The statement about power could be misleading, if institutional perspective is used. In institutional theory, power in just a story, but not everything. There are also ideas and norms that play roles in shaping human-made systems and human actions. Scott suggests a revision on that statement.

The role of time

Scott suggests to read Paul Pierson, Politics in time, in analysing the role of time in institutional setting.

The important of reasons

Instead of only providing the substance of change across regimes, it would be more powerful to explain more why the changes occurred.

The external/international links

Also, include more the interdependence of Indonesian context and the development in other/wider international context, to give emphasis more on the institutional effects.

Insert quantitative figures

If possible, insert some quantitative aspects, such as number of unions across time (see Scott and Christensen 2000, for examples). This figures/graphs is to give more evidence on the history of changes, for example to show how rapid is the change, when is the important years (turn-around time), etc. Also in this, consider the macro-economic conditions as a context. Also, culture – cognitive (Neil Lebran) aspects such as general understanding/knowledge about what makes companies efficient. Such views have  had serious impacts on HR operations.

On IHRM paper:

It is always hard job to do in dealing with merging different perspective.

RBV is not a rational choice theory

Be  careful to claim RBV as part or rational strategic choice perspective. Check and read David Teece, Jay Barney (also Edith Penrose). A chapter in Scott and Christensen claim that RBV (Penrose) is not an orthodox view of rational perspective. RBV is rooted in the work of Nelson and Winter, evolutionary economists on distinctive capabilities or competence. Much less malleable. RBV acknowledge the embeddedness.

Where is the actor perspective?

The third perspective, actor perspective, has not been developed yet. We directly jump from the two theories to conclusion, although it is mentioned in the introduction that the paper discuses three different perspectives. So probably a clearer meaning is needed.

The process is still missing

The paper hasn’t dealt yet with the actual processes, although it claims to do so.

Notes for further analysis the case:

Consider to analyse the differences across the case study firms (as also finding similarities between them):

  1. type of headquarter strategic orientation
  2. time of found
  3. type of industry
  4. size
  5. HR roles/department.

Agency in institutionalism

Although institutional theory is now open to agency approach, it is important to understand and to say that actorhood is played within institutional influences. Actors are embedded in their social institutional environment.  They are not taking heroic actions. Their actions are empowered or controlled by institutions. The degree of agency applied is also dependent on the position of the actor and the different location/field/sector where actor is located. Actors are social creation, they are not autonomous from their environment.  Thus it is important to understand the relational connections they have.

Fields/sectors also have overlapping and intersections. The concept of field, by Giddens, explains the relationship of structure and action. Structure is the context that provides resources for action, and action is taken by actors to produce or change the context. So this is a reciprocal phenomenon.

Ventrasca et al. say that institutions have been inhibited by actors. Actors in their lives have been introduced to various ideas. They are taught and they learn, either consciously or unconsciously although they are not cultural dopes because people are also sensitive to what that is going on. And, there is always opportunity to add into the institutions and there are thing to forget as well. For instance, people tend to not say perfectly the same thing twice. Scott asks to read Giddens.


Thus it is important to understand the degree of exposure of the HR professionals within a firm. This is to understand their connection to external environment and thus the degree of institutionalized ideas onto them.

Ideas are developed and diffused. But, look also how they are adapted, translated and implemented through actions. Zajac and Westpal for example study the adoption of compensation practices across time across firms (and found the differences?).

The abstract and the specifics

Implication to my study, there are two levels of analysis to check. First, the abstract level, to identify what issues applied for all groups. This is about similarity. And secondly, the specifics, to identify contextual truth, where only applied within particular context. This is about variation. Thus we need to understand both similarities and difference. Differences can be analysed within each particular firms or across industries, means context will be analysed or not.


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