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An institutional analysis of governance structures: How institutional carriers influence decision making in Brazilian environmental-education internet-mediated communities.

Hercheui, Magda David (2007) An institutional analysis of governance structures: How institutional carriers influence decision making in Brazilian environmental-education internet-mediated communities. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis presents an investigation on the institutionalisation of four Brazilian Internet-mediated communities that provide debate and organize political mobilization related to the education on environmental issues. Drawing on new institutionalism, this research claims that institutional factors influence how these collectivities structure their governance and decision-making processes. More specifically, this study adopts W. Richard Scott's (2001) framework on institutional carriers to analyse the phenomenon of the diffusion of a segregated decision-making process, which Simon (1997 [1945]) claims is an instance of centralization present in hierarchical organizations, in communities that declare to be attempting to create network-like organizational structures. The comparative case study, based on qualitative methodology (in-depth, semi-structured interviews), reveals that laws, power and authority systems, cognitive schema, jobs, roles, scripts and Internet tools, among other institutional carriers, influence the communities in reproducing centralized governance structures. Furthermore, this research highlights how social actors interpret and reproduce such social structures in their environment. This research balances the role of both social structures and agency to understand how institutional forms diffuse through the studied virtual communities. Empirical evidence suggests social actors embed institutionalised social structures in their practices through adapting them to the situation, which includes the cultivation of mechanisms of legitimation and sanctions of patterned behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Social Structure and Development, Information Technology, Education, Environmental, Latin American Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2012

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