Social Movements

There are many definitions for the concept of social movements. For instance, one definition focuses on social movements as a set of opinions that represents preferences for changing the social structure and or the reward distribution of a society (McCarthy & Zald, 1977). Another definition focuses on a collective attempt to change individuals or societal structures and institutions (Zald & Ash, 1966). A different definition is a lot more broad, discussing social movements as a large number of people making efforts to solve a problem they feel they have in common (Toch, 1965). There are more definitions of social movements than discussed above. Some are broad and others are narrower. However, there are a few aspects these definitions have in common. First they all refer to a group of people. Second, they all discuss collective action. And third, they all mention some form of outcomes.

In strategic management, we are concerned with social movements because organizations are target of, actors in, sites for, and manifestations of social movements. In addition, the market can also viewed as outcomes of social movements (Davis et al. 2008).

Key papers in social movements and organizations include:

  • Davis et al. 2008
  • McAdam and Scott 2005
  • Haveman, Rao, Paruchuri 2007
  • King and Soule 2007
  • Lounsbury 2001
  • Biscoe and Safford 2008
(Adapted from course notes)
(Flashcards and other resources here)

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