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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Thomas Gegenhuber, Danielle Logue, C.R. (Bob) Hinings and Michael Barrett

Undoubtedly, digital transformation is permeating all domains of business and society. We envisage this volume as an opportunity to explore how manifestations of digital…

Abstract

Undoubtedly, digital transformation is permeating all domains of business and society. We envisage this volume as an opportunity to explore how manifestations of digital transformation require rethinking of our understanding and theorization of institutional processes. To achieve this goal, a collaborative forum of organization and management theory scholars and information systems researchers was developed to enrich and advance institutional theory approaches in understanding digital transformation. This volume’s contributions advance the three institutional perspectives. The first perspective, institutional logics, technological affordances and digital transformation, seeks to deepen our understanding of the pervasive and increasingly important relationship between technology and institutions. The second perspective, digital transformation, professional projects and new institutional agents, explores how existing professions respond to the introduction of digital technologies as well as the emergence of new professional projects and institutional agents in the wake of digital transformation. The third perspective, institutional infrastructure, field governance and digital transformation, inquires how new digital organizational forms, such as platforms, affect institutional fields, their infrastructure and thus their governance. For each of these perspectives, we outline an agenda for future research, complemented by a brief discussion of new research frontiers (i.e., digital work and sites of technological (re-)production; artificial intelligence (AI) and actorhood; digital transformation and grand challenges) and methodological reflections.

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Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Georg Loscher and Verena Bader

In this paper, we explore the effects of emerging digital technologies on professionalization within organizations. Specifically, we examine how the emergence of data…

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the effects of emerging digital technologies on professionalization within organizations. Specifically, we examine how the emergence of data analytics as a new cross-functional profession rooted in new digital technologies is challenging human resources (HR) as an established organizational profession. Our qualitative study reveals how rhetorical work and material work have established a symbiosis between data science and HR. Rather than leading to de-professionalization, new technologies are enabling HR practices to be augmented and new actors to be integrated into the professionalization project, thereby elevating the status of HR. These findings contribute to the literature on the role of technology in institutional theory and its influences on the professionalization.

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Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Lee C. Jarvis, Rebekah Eden, April L. Wright and Andrew Burton-Jones

Digital transformations represent an increasingly salient empirical phenomena for institutionalists studying the processes by which institutions evolve, erode, or…

Abstract

Digital transformations represent an increasingly salient empirical phenomena for institutionalists studying the processes by which institutions evolve, erode, or otherwise change. Yet, there have been few meaningful attempts to engage with insights from the information systems (IS) literature, despite digital innovation and diffusion falling squarely within its domain. This essay makes an initial attempt at integration by offering a two-by-two framework which crosses salient theoretical categories within the IS and institutional literatures. From the former, we draw on concepts of system acceptance and resistance, and from the latter, we draw on concepts of institutional maintenance and change. Each quadrant in our framework represents user responses happening because of, in reaction to, or toward various institutional dynamics. We illustrate each quadrant with data collected as part of a study of digital transformation in the field of public healthcare in Australia. We use our illustrative case to open up research questions which researchers might use to frame their own studies of digital transformations as a form of institutional change. We conclude with a discussion of what other theoretical advances or insights might be yielded from greater collaboration between institutionalists and IS scholars. This essay contributes to the nascent study of digital transformations as a form of institutional change through examining how complementary concepts of the IS and institutional literatures might be used simultaneously to understand the intersection of digital innovation and diffusion and the institutional arrangements governing the fields which they change.

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Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

C. R. (Bob) Hinings and Royston Greenwood

Philip Selznick has been a central, historical figure in the development of institutional theory. In particular his contribution in TVA and the Grass Roots and Leadership

Abstract

Philip Selznick has been a central, historical figure in the development of institutional theory. In particular his contribution in TVA and the Grass Roots and Leadership in Administration has been key. However, we put forward the relevance of Selznick’s broader portfolio of ideas, to show that they could inform institutional analysis in new ways. There are important ideas and insights that can be brought to bear on contemporary issues within institutional theory. In particular, Selznick was concerned with the ways in which organizational goals are deflected because of different interest groups. Organizations use various kinds of cooptation to deal with interest groups. Selznick’s perspective implies that institutional theorists need to be concerned with both deflection of purposes and interests. These ideas are explored further in his work, The Organizational Weapon, showing a concern with the nefarious effects of organizational practices, an avenue that institutional theory needs to explore further. Indeed, Selznick was always concerned with the consequences of institutionalization. He dealt with issues of organizational governance, purposes and interests, ideas of unanticipated as well as anticipated consequences, negative as well as positive effects of institutionalization all of which require further analysis in contemporary institutional theory. Also at the heart of Selznick’s work was an emphasis on policy and practice, coming from American pragmatist philosophy. For Selznick, knowledge is to be utilized to produce good policy and practice. Institutional theorists need to consider the applications of their knowledge.

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Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-726-0

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Robyn King, April L. Wright, David Smith, Alex Chaudhuri and Leah Thompson

We bring together the institutional theory literature on institutional logics and the information systems (IS) literature that conceptualizes a relational view of…

Abstract

We bring together the institutional theory literature on institutional logics and the information systems (IS) literature that conceptualizes a relational view of affordances to explore the digital changes unfolding in the delivery of professional services. Through a qualitative inductive study of the development of an app led by a clinician manager in an Australian hospital, we investigate how multiple institutional logics shape the design of affordances when an organization develops new digital technologies for frontline professional work. Our findings show how a billing function was designed into the app by the development team over four episodes to afford potential physician users with billing usability, billing acceptability, billing authority and billing discretion. These affordances emerged as different elements of professional, state, managerial and market logics became activated, interpreted, evaluated, negotiated and designed into the digital technology through the team’s interactions with the clinician manager, a hybrid professional, during the app development process. Our findings contribute new insight to the affordance-based logics perspective by deepening understanding of the process through which multiple institutional logics play out in the design of affordances of digital technology. We also highlight the role of hybrid professionals in this digital transformation of frontline professional work.

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Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

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Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Ali Aslan Gümüsay, Mia Raynard, Oana Albu, Michael Etter and Thomas Roulet

Digital technologies, and the affordances they provide, can shape institutional processes in significant ways. In the last decade, social media and other digital platforms…

Abstract

Digital technologies, and the affordances they provide, can shape institutional processes in significant ways. In the last decade, social media and other digital platforms have redefined civic engagement by enabling new ways of connecting, collaborating, and mobilizing. In this article, we examine how technological affordances can both enable and hinder institutional processes through visibilization – which we define as the enactment of technological features to foreground and give voice to particular perspectives and discourses while silencing others. We study such dynamics by examining #SchauHin, an activist campaign initiated in Germany to shine a spotlight on experiences of daily racism. Our findings show how actors and counter-actors differentially leveraged the technological features of two digital platforms to shape the campaign. Our study has implications for understanding the role of digital technologies in institutional processes as well as the interplay between affordances and visibility in efforts to deinstitutionalize discriminatory practices and institutions.

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Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

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Book part
Publication date: 26 June 2006

Namrata Malhotra, Timothy Morris and C.R. (Bob) Hinings

This chapter examines the sources of variation in organizational form among accounting and law firms. We first summarize research in the organization of professional…

Abstract

This chapter examines the sources of variation in organizational form among accounting and law firms. We first summarize research in the organization of professional service firms and explain its evolution. This is followed by the argument that variations around the P2 archetype have emerged in response to different market and institutional pressures faced by accounting and law firms. Drawing on contingency and institutional theory, we show how the changing balance between the influence of market and institutional factors has resulted in structural variation.

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Professional Service Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-302-0

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Nicholas Berente and Stefan Seidel

Given widespread digital transformations in all sorts of organizations, it is increasingly difficult to ignore the role of digital technologies in institutional change. In…

Abstract

Given widespread digital transformations in all sorts of organizations, it is increasingly difficult to ignore the role of digital technologies in institutional change. In this essay, we characterize existing scholarship in terms of whether it emphasizes how digital technologies are either “triggers” or “carriers” of institutional change. As triggers, digital technologies serve as catalysts that afford novel structuring as they are enacted in practice. As carriers, digital technologies can shape those practices in ways that are consistent with the structuring of other fields. We propose a view of institutionally embedded affordances, where digital technologies are both triggers and carriers that afford institutional change. We conclude with a reflection on how digital technologies are implicated in the convergence of previously distinct industrial fields.

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Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

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Book part
Publication date: 27 March 2007

David M. Brock, Michael J. Powell and C.R. (Bob) Hinings

This chapter explores archetypal change in the context of professional service firms. To understand recent and ongoing changes in professional service firms, we briefly…

Abstract

This chapter explores archetypal change in the context of professional service firms. To understand recent and ongoing changes in professional service firms, we briefly show how the professional archetype has evolved since the 1960s. We then present four theoretical models to describe processes by which institutionalized archetypes can change, and possibly coexist in the same field. Three professional archetypes are described, each in the context of historical development and the change model described earlier. At the one extreme is the traditional professional partnership; at the other the larger, multidisciplinary, corporate, global professional network, or GPN; in between is the “Star” form – relatively specialized, flatter structure, resisting significant growth, with fixations on excellence, and being the leader in a professional niche.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-425-6

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Laura Illia, Michael Etter, Katia Meggiorin and Elanor Colleoni

Organizational legitimacy is a central concept in institutional theory and in the more recent stream of communicative institutionalism. Within this scholarship, there…

Abstract

Organizational legitimacy is a central concept in institutional theory and in the more recent stream of communicative institutionalism. Within this scholarship, there exists an elaborated understanding of how macro-level actors, such as news media, influence individual judgments at the micro-level through a top-down communication process. However, little is known about the upward process by which individual propriety judgments influence validity judgments of news media at the macro-level. In this paper, we propose that this upward process of the legitimacy loop is facilitated by the degree to which expressed propriety judgments by individuals create thematic broadness, which bridges stand-alone conversations. Through a study investigating a post-scandal phase in the financial sector, we show how propriety judgments in social media become pre-validated at the meso-level prior to their validation by news media at the macro-level. The presented theoretical framework and empirical insights based on time-series regression analysis provide new knowledge about the multilevel process of organizational legitimacy formation in a digital age and extend our understanding of how a consensus is revealed at the meso-level.

Details

Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

Keywords

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