Theory is an integral part of research. Recently, scholars have been concerned with simple consumption of theory in organization studies. Echoing this concern, we conducted an historical analysis of theory development in the field of management and organization. We commenced our inquiry by reading social theories and searching articles that cited the theorists in institutional theory and organization studies. Through juxtaposing social theories and organization literature, we intend to decipher the historical trajectory of social theory importation and domestication in institutional theory and organization studies. We found that organization scholars “domesticated” social theories by modifying and altering the meanings of social theory to cater to a more orthodox research agenda; the translation and transformation, to some extent, contribute to the limitations of institutional theory. We argue that in order to advance theory, future researchers ought to understand how meanings change when importing and domesticating social theories historically, thereby opening up possibilities of theorizing in the future. Implications are discussed.