Normative isomorphism and the analysis of health-care institutions

The normative mechanism of isomorphic pressure, central to institutional theory, has its emergency identified with the influence of professionalism in some organizations, mainly related to education and health. We discuss its usefulness, considering the problem of separating, in this kind of organization, normative aspects from regulative and cognitive. To do it we use Weber's original formulations of legitimacy, as well as Freidson's framework on professionalism. We identify, in Parsons' interpretation of Weber, the origins of the emphasis in the normative mechanism. We argue that, in health organizations, the normative mechanism is not adequate as an analysis category, since they operate, centrally, based on medical work and the process of profissionalization of the medical occupation has been characterized by self-regulation beliefs' dissemination.

Normative mechanism; profession; health organizations

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