American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 105, No. 2 (September 1999), pp. 406-54
Most accounts of organizations and law treat law as largely exogenous and emphasize organizations' responses to law. This study proposes a model of endogeneity among organizations, the professions,and legal institutions. It suggests that organizations and the professors strive to construct rational responses to law, enabled by "rational myths" or stories about appropriate solutions that are themselves modeled after the public legal order. Courts, in turn, recognize and legitimate organizational structures that mimic the legal form, thus conferring legal and market benefits upon organizational structures that began as gestures of compliance. Thus, market rationality can follow from rationalized myths: the professions promote a particular compliance strategy, organizations adopt this strategy to reduce costs and symbolize compliance, and courts adjust judicial constructions of fairness to include these emerging organizational practices. To illustrate this model, a case study of equal employment opportunity (EEO) grievance procedures is presented in this article.