Based on Weber and George Herbert Mead, who both stated that meaning only
arises from social interaction, some researchers have focused on how meaning
is created and maintained in organizations (Scott p. 108). This is commonly
known as the "symbolic interaction" method (Roy, 1952, Goffman
1961) or the "action approach" (Silverman, 1971). Formal structures
and rules are resolved into fragile sets of misunderstandings, negotiations,
etc. as individuals struggle for control and meaning (Scott p. 108). Sometimes
these negotations transcend the organizational boundaries.
Goffman's use of "frames" --"a set of background rules that
actors impose on specific situations in order to define their meaning and
suggest what kinds of interaction are appropriate" (Scott p. 109).
Actors try to figure out what the situation is and act accordingly.
Much of the work in this area is ethnomethodological.