Cover of Markets from Culture by Patricia H. Thornton
Markets from Culture
Institutional Logics and Organizational Decisions in Higher Education Publishing
Patricia H. Thornton


208 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804740210


Excerpts and More

Institutional logics, the underlying governing principles of societal sectors, strongly influence organizational decision making. Any shift in institutional logics results in a similar shift in attention to alternative problems and solutions and in new determinants for executive decisions. Examining changes in institutional logics in higher-education publishing, this book links cultural analysis with organizational decision making to develop a theory of attention and explain how executives concentrate on certain market characteristics to the exclusion of others.

Analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data from the 1950s to the 1990s, the author shows how higher education publishing moved from a culture of independent domestic publishers focused on creating markets for books based on personal, relational networks to a culture of international conglomerates that create markets from corporate hierarchies. This book offers broader lessons beyond publishing—its theory is applicable to explaining institutional changes in organizational leadership, strategy, and structure occurring in all professional services industries.

About the author

Patricia Thornton is Associate Professor at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. She is the recipient of the American Sociological Association's W. Richard Scott award for the best organizations research article.

" . . . The most rigorous and theoretically sophisticated book available for those interested in the sociology of the book publishing industry."

Canadian Journal of Sociology Online