Institutional Theory: A review of the main representatives of the institutionalist school of economics


  • Clea Beatriz Macagnan Unisinos


This study reviews Institutional Theory with the purpose of recognizing the problems and identifying the paradigm of this theory. It starts from a semiotic analysis that takes the sign as the minimum unit, which includes the syntactic and paradigmatic perspective of analysis. This makes it possible to find meanings identified through an unveiling based on readings of texts by the most important representatives of Institutional Theory, such as Thorstein Veblen, Wesley Mitchell, John R. Commons, Clarence E. Ayres, Oliver E. Williamson, and Douglass C. North. Other experts on the topic also help to understand the particularities of this theory. At the end the article presents the problems and the identification of Institutional Theory’s paradigm.

Key words: Institutional Theory, research problems, paradigm.

Author Biography

Clea Beatriz Macagnan, Unisinos

Centro de Ciencias Economicas