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The Emergence of Organizations and Markets
John F. Padgett & Walter W. Powell

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"The Emergence of Organizations and Markets will unquestionably change how scholars think about innovation and the economy, highlighting the importance of coevolution across multiple network domains and the duality between actors and social relations."--James N. Baron, American Journal of Sociology


"The scholarship, analytical focus, and sheer energy of this work are nothing short of admirable. It will change the way historians and social scientists study large-scale economic and political transformations."--Jon Elster, Collège de France and Columbia University

"This intellectual tour de force revolutionizes how we think about social transformations. It introduces a brilliant and surprisingly effective new model of explanation based on an analogy with the biochemistry of life-forms. The model's utility is convincingly demonstrated in fascinating case studies, ranging from medieval Florence to contemporary Silicon Valley. Every social scientist interested in the problem of social change should read this book."--William H. Sewell, Jr., University of Chicago

"This book is about the old sociological truth that the substance of social structure--how it is known, how it operates, how it has effects--lies in the structure's history. That truth, here discussed in terms of network autocatalytic mechanisms, has never been said as well, as clearly, or with such profound implications for how we think about organizations and markets. A remarkable book."--Ronald S. Burt, University of Chicago

"For the social sciences, which have been far better at explaining how institutions behave than at understanding where they come from, this is a landmark book. Operating at the horizon where theory and method converge, it presents a genuinely new explanation of the emergence of novelty in a broad array of contexts. Representing social science at its best, this book will resonate through the disciplines for a long time."--Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University

"This book revitalizes the study of social, political, and economic change by linking it to the classic sociological understanding of society as interlocked institutions that borrow from and transform one another. Its rich and subtle merger of network analysis, organization theory, and historical institutionalism will catalyze a generation of new studies. It is the essential starting point for those seeking new and exciting theoretical departures."--Mark Granovetter, Stanford University

"This book is a towering achievement of methodological finesse, bridging multiple scales of structure and time to produce a polyoptic theory of organizational genesis and transformation in politics, economics, and science. A core thesis of this book is that multifunctional social actors and the heterarchical networks they induce coconstruct each other, yielding emergent organizations that shape structural and functional innovation in response to shocks. Padgett and Powell's fantastic demonstration of interdisciplinary conversation will provide systems biologists with thought-provoking ideas for developing a fresh look at the nature of emergence and evolution."--Walter Fontana, Harvard University

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File created: 4/24/2017

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