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The aim of this chapter was to show the fundamental ways of thinking that modern society rests on and thereby also the ways of thinking that form the basis for dominating views of the function of organizations. Modernism is characterized by a strong belief in rationality and the ability of scientific methods to establish the truth. When we think about how we should live our lives, how the society we live in should be developed, how organizations that affect us work, we tend to think in terms of progress, growth and development, rather than the other way around. We also tend to think in terms of rationality, calculability, predictability and instrumentality. This way of thinking strongly characterizes the content of the institutional movements discussed in the previous chapter. It thereby also constitutes the framework around which influential actors in the institutional environment build their activities, and upon which widely-disseminated institutional products are based.

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