Born to Diffuse : Towards a New Generation of Diffusion Studies?
Marie-Laure Djelic, ESSEC Business Schoo, who will receive the title of Honorary Doctor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm University, will give the Score Lecture on Organization 2014, Thursday 25 September, at 10 am-12 am, at Score Kräftriket 7A.
Registration is required: please send an email to email@example.com no later than 21 September.
The question of increasing similarity of forms and ideas is an important one in the social sciences in general. There are two main – and strikingly different – ways to account for increasing social similarity. The first is through an evolutionary or modernization type of argument, where increasing similarity reveals parallel but discrete processes of fit and adaptation. The second is through a diffusionist kind of argument, where forms and ideas circulate and spread across many different kinds of borders. The objective in this paper is double:
1. We will first try and map the rich theoretical terrain that talks about similarity as diffusion, taking stock of the various contributions in particular within the institutionalist tradition
2. Underscore the need for an additional theoretical take on diffusion that has significant methodological consequences. If we are to understand the types of developments characteristic of a transnational world, we need to think not only of forms and ideas that “happen to diffuse”, going from A to B and being transformed, translated and edited in the process, but also of forms and ideas that are from the very start “born to diffuse”.
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