Drawing on a case study of the adoption of an American organizational form – the “Academic Health Science Centre” (or “AHSC”) – in English healthcare, the authors develop a model of the “translation work” required to translate an organizational form from one organizational field to another. The findings contribute to the literature on translation and shed light on the microfoundations of institutions by examining the complex relationship among agency, meaning, institutions, and temporality that underpin the translation of a contested organizational form. The authors also show the important, but limited, role of agency when translation occurs at the broad field level and argue that the translation of organization forms can, in at least some situations, best be understood as a “garbage can” rather than the linear and agentic view usually described in the translation literature.
We would like to thank Jonathan Pinto for his contribution to the fieldwork. We would also like to thank Namrata Malhotra, Elena Dalpiaz, and all participants in our session at the 2014 Academy of Management Meetings for providing useful comments. Finally, we thank Lauri Wessel and the other editors of the RSO volume for their guidance and support.
Surachaikulwattana, P. and Phillips, N. (2019), "Creating the British Academic Health Science Centres: Understanding the Microfoundations of the Translation of Organizational Forms", Haack, P., Sieweke, J. and Wessel, L. (Ed.) Microfoundations of Institutions (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 65B), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 273-296. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X2019000065B019
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