Microfoundations of Social Theory: A Response to Jepperson and Meyer

Abell, Peter, Felin, Teppo and Foss, Nicolai J. (2014) Microfoundations of Social Theory: A Response to Jepperson and Meyer. Sociologica, 2/2014.


In this essay we respond to Jepperson and Meyer’s [2011] critique of “action theories” and methodological individualism in sociology. We highlight fundamental problems with their argument, notably their misconception of methodological individualism(s) and the belief that this explanatory principle ignores – and is somehow invalidated by – the complex, “emergent” and multi-level nature of social phenomena. We focus on the need to specify and understand: 1) component actors and social complexity; 2) theory of action, aggregation, and emergence; 3) self-selection and matching; and 4) process and the context of action. We concurrently critique Jepperson and Meyer’s own (implicit but highly problematic and under-specified) theory of action.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: micro-macro, multi-level theory, social theory, social aggregation
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2015 13:31
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 14:10
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/5504

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