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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the intersection of scholarship concerned with two types of collective action: social movements and formal organizations. Theories of social movements originated in research on crowd behaviour while organization theory was founded on theories of rational bureaucracy. Social movement researchers began importing ideas from organization theory in the 1970s to account for the role of formal organizations, resources, and strategic behaviour in movements. More recently, organization theorists have drawn on social movement theory to understand the politics of organizational and institutional change. Social movement research has offered theoretical models and mechanisms of contestation and change in organizations and organizational fields, and has also drawn organizational scholars’ attention to the relevance of movement activism and grassroots mobilization inside organizations for organization theory. The chapter reviews important classic and contemporary contributions to this research and identifies future directions.

Keywords: social movements, collective behaviour, organization theory, change, conflict, activists, mobilization

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