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Keeping a dream alive: Sustaining the rational myth of industrialization in the construction industry from 1945 to 1970

Abstract : How do rational myths survive over time? According to Meyer and Rowan (1977), rational myths provide idealized cultural accounts of how organizations should operate. They have two key properties: 1) they are rationalized prescriptions that specify in a rulelike way the appropriate means to rationally pursue certain social purposes, and 2) they are highly institutionalized, i.e. their legitimacy is taken for granted. Rational myths help organizational members make sense of uncertain situations and guide organizational action in meaningful and legitimate directions. While existing literature has shed light on how rational myths come into existence and how they operate, we are still missing insight into how they survive over time. Our enquiry explores, through a multimodal analysis, how rational myths survive over time in the absence of solid demonstrations that they hold true. Empirically, we examine the rational myth of industrialization as formulated by the automotive industry at the turn of the 20th century, notably how it expressed itself in the construction industry in the postwar period.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01392856
Contributor : Eva Boxenbaum <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 4, 2016 - 7:22:02 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 5:08:14 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01392856, version 1

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Thibault Daudigeos, Eva Boxenbaum, Sylvain Colombero, Pillet Jean-Charles. Keeping a dream alive: Sustaining the rational myth of industrialization in the construction industry from 1945 to 1970. 2nd International Conference: Visuality, Materiality, Multimodality, Copenhagen Business School, Sep 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark. ⟨hal-01392856⟩

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