Toward an organizational perspective on identifying and managing formal gatekeepers

Calvin Morrill, David B. Buller, Mary Klein Buller, Linda L. Larkey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In this article, we present an institutionalist organizational perspective on formal gatekeeping, arguing along two fronts: First, identifying gatekeepers provides useful analytic devices for learning about the vocabularies of structure in an organization. Second, successfully managing gatekeepers requires that one understands the vocabularies of structure in use in an organization. We ground our perspective in field experiences gleaned from eleven public sector organizations who participated in our health promotion and research program, the Arizona 5 a Day Project. Field data and insights from institutional organizational and decision-making theory frame a matrix of organizational types and formal gatekeeping. We conclude by linking our perspective with analytic perspectives on organizational charters and organizational change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-72
Number of pages22
JournalQualitative Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Access
  • Gatekeeping
  • Organizations
  • Qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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