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This study combines the problem orientation of instrumentalism and the systems analysis of circular and cumulative causation (CCC) through the utilization of a social fabric matrix (SFM) and network digraph. The SFM is utilized to articulate part of the Nebraska State system used to distribute state funds among local K-12 public schools. The empirical content is used to derive conceptual conclusions about CCC and to make comments about a controversy regarding agents, institutions, and new rule development. This study provides a refinement of CCC, and it confirms that rules are not the result of self-action by agents.