An Ontology for Organization & Collective Action
The application of the principles of stratified ontology proposed by the critical realism (RC), as well as the paradigmatic commensurability between the natural and social sciences – that is possible by intransitive level of sharing the reality -, results in a sociology of levels (Brante 2001; Vandenberghe, 2007a,b; 2010). So it makes possible to localize the organizations and institutions at an intermediate level of the relationship between agency and structure (Archer, 2000; Fleetwood & Ackroyd, 2004; Fleetwood, 2005; 2008a; 2008b; Elder-Vass, 2010; Vandenberghe, 2010) as a real entity with its own existence and causal powers that can interfere with reality. It is, therefore, a legitimate instance of studies in social theory - and, by extension, within the O&CAS - and a supposedly appropriate level to deepen the knowledge about the processes of constitution of society (Ackroyd, 2000).
Conversely, the focus of the debate on O&CAS can be fruitful for its own social theory, as a hole, in that the opening of the "black box" of meso-sociological level (Bourdieu, 2001) may reveal processes and mechanisms related to the agency issue, as this is an intermediate category in the relationship between agency and structure (Fleetwood, 2008b; Elder-Vass, 2010), considering thatto date there is no due attention to it in social theory (Ackroyd, 2000).