Welcome to Institutional theory and the interdependence between institutions and technological development
Description: The aims of the course are to explore the relationship between political, economic, social and cultural institutions with a focus on analyzing:
a. How specific institutional settings further specific technological developments and often locks the development into resource inefficient paths.
b. How institutional settings can be changed in order to promote new resource efficient technological developments.
Furthermore, the course aims to clarify how analyses of this kind can be used and exemplified in the projects of the participants in the course.
Institutional theory asserts that institutions to a large extent influence and are part of the formal structure of legislation, organizations and markets. The combination of institutional, organizational and market design does not necessarily represent an optimum regarding economic efficiency, resource productivity and benefits for society. The same can be said about our political and economic structures that are sustaining institutions, organisations and markets. How important are concrete political institutions in shaping policies and government strategies? And how does this in turn affect the technologies we invest in? With an emphasis on environmental and energy policies, this course will give in-depth knowledge about institutional theory and how it can be applied to current real world examples in order to better understand the links between technological development and implementation and the actual institutions in which they are embedded. This again should make it possible for the participants to explore and suggest new institutional designs that will further the technological systems wanted by specific organisations, as for instance companies, municipalities, states, etc.
The course will look at institutional theory from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course will begin with an introductory overview on Institutional Theory, where basic concepts will be discussed from different points of view and using literature from different fields. One block will focus on econometric models and how they influence institutions with a focus on the influence of neoclassical economics on methods of project evaluation. Examples of application of the theory will follow. Another block will focus on the links between Institutional Theory, Discourse Theory and Social Constructivism. A final block will focus on the application of Institutional Theory through examples of the research of the participants.
The course will consist of lecture time, as well as time for discussions, including discussions of the project ideas of the participants. 2 weeks prior to the course, all participants will be expected to deliver a written document of maximum 5 pages, which should describe how they might intend to apply institutional theory in their research. This will allow the course to build on the examples taken from the participants work, and several participants will also be asked to make a short presentation of their work to the class as a start to a discussion session, where participants can discuss their experiences with using institutional theory. A detailed schedule will be sent to all participants in good time.

Organizers: Professor Frede Hvelplund, email: hvelplund@plan.aau.dk Associate Professor Ole Busck, email: oleb@plan.aau.dk and PhD Fellow Amanda Louise Hill, email: alhill@plan.aau.dk

Lecturers: Frede Hvelplund, Ole Busck


Time: May 1-3, 2013

Place: Aalborg University, Nybrogade 6, room 1.133

Zip code: 9000

City: Aalborg

Deadline: April 11, 2013

Important information concerning PhD courses

We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.