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Political Economic Person, Ideological Orientation and Institutional Change: On competition between schemes of interpretation in economics
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (Ekonomi för hållbar utveckling)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2689-819X
2001 (English)In: Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, ISSN 0260-1079, E-ISSN 2321-5305, Vol. 12, no 3, 179-197 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Institutions do not exist independently of individuals. Individuals relate to institutions in cognitive and emotional ways. In this essay emphasis is on how individuals interpret various phenomena as part of their ideological orientation. A Political Economic Person is suggested as an alternative to Economic Man. Human beings are assumed to be responsible actors with many roles and acting in a changing context from specific positions.

In relation to a specific group of phenomena such as business corporations and markets there are more than one language and scheme of interpretation that can be used by individuals. The choice and application of one scheme of interpretation is a political matter and part of the mentioned ideological orientation of the individual. Similarly organizations such as business corporations have their value orientation, business concept, business ideology or mission statement, which suggests specific ways of interpreting the world.

Taking environmental issues seriously may - as an example - lead to a questioning of simplistic ideas about business companies in terms of profits and shareholder values. New schemes of interpretation emerge connected for instance with Environmental Management Systems, such as ISO 14001 or the European Union version, EMAS. The existence of more than one scheme of interpretation in relation to business corporations as phenomena, makes it meaningful to speak of a competition between alternative schemes of interpretation and thereby between institutions. ISO 14 001 - pointing to an idea that not only the monetary performance of a company counts but also environmental performance - has become institutionalized and in some sense threatens other existing ideas about business. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 12, no 3, 179-197 p.
Keyword [en]
political economic person, ideological orientation, political economic organization, institutional change, economics, schemes of interpretation
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Organisations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28857DOI: 10.1177/02601079X01001200301OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-28857DiVA: diva2:851789
Projects
sustainability economics
Available from: 2015-09-07 Created: 2015-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Söderbaum, Peter

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