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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Liam Magee and James A. Thom

The purpose of this paper is to examine the history of the standardisation of two largely overlapping electronic document formats between 2005 and 2008, and its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the history of the standardisation of two largely overlapping electronic document formats between 2005 and 2008, and its implications for future IT standards development.

Design/methodology/approach

The document format controversy is researched as an exemplary case study of the institutional rivalries, perspectives and strategic interests at play in standardisation processes. The study adopts a methodological lens of discursive institutionalism in order to explain how actors assume and perform a variety of roles during the controversy. It consults a range of documentary sources, including media commentary, corporate press releases and blog posts, financial reports and technical specifications.

Findings

The study shows that: first, intentions to increase competition in the office software market through the standardisation of document formats led to a standards “arms race”; second, this further entrenched the position of a single market actor; and third, the resulting public debate nevertheless has reinvigorated the push for genuinely open standards.

Social implications

Information technology standards are often touted as mechanisms for increasing the competitiveness of a market, thereby benefitting consumers and the greater public. In the presence of dominant institutional actors, efforts to standardise can, perversely, undermine this benefit. Increased public scrutiny through online media offers a potential remedy.

Originality/value

This research presents a novel account of the controversy over the document format standardisation process, understood through the lens of discursive institutionalism. It also shows the increasing and potentially putative role of online media in the development of IT standards generally.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Book part
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Daniel Alvunger and Ninni Wahlström

In this chapter, the interest is directed towards how transnational policy messages (supra-level) can be tracked down through analyses of curriculum policy discourses at…

Abstract

In this chapter, the interest is directed towards how transnational policy messages (supra-level) can be tracked down through analyses of curriculum policy discourses at the national (macro-level) and municipal level (meso-level) in the Swedish school system. Drawing on discursive institutionalism, and organizational and institutional theory, we analyse central policy messages in the introduction of the national Swedish standards-based curriculum reform for compulsory school from 2011, focusing on discourses of communication between local authorities (meso-level) and schools (micro-level) within their area of responsibility for curriculum making. Two main features emerge. The local curriculum reform agenda is significantly shaped by the argument that explicit standards together with systematic governance through evaluation and accountability will increase students' performance. The second feature underlines strong accountability as a prerequisite for equity and equivalence and the importance of the local school authority for the organization of schooling, structural support and interventions for curriculum making in schools. Equity and equivalence are a challenge for the local authorities. They have problems to support curriculum making which tends to create considerable variations in how the curriculum reform is enacted in the different schools of the municipality.

Details

Curriculum Making in Europe: Policy and Practice within and Across Diverse Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-735-0

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2018

Sabine Schührer

The purpose of this paper is to improve Kingdon’s (1984, 2011) concept of policy entrepreneurs (PE) with regard to the theoretical development of the definition and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve Kingdon’s (1984, 2011) concept of policy entrepreneurs (PE) with regard to the theoretical development of the definition and identification and level of agency by supplementing it with elements of Schmidt’s (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012) sentient agents. The improved concept of discursive policy entrepreneurs (DPEs) is then applied in an in-depth case study about the agenda setting process of micro and macro whole-of-government accounting in Australia in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the concept of DPEs, a series of operationalised characteristics and proxies are developed to identify them and describe their behaviour. These are then applied in the case study. The two main data sources are semi-structured in-depth interviews and archival documents.

Findings

The findings show that the focus on DPEs’ discursive and coordination activities is critical for identifying and investigating the key actors of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)/Government Finance Statistics (GFS) harmonisation agenda setting process. The study also finds that the two relevant decision-making bodies, the Financial Reporting Council and the Australian Accounting Standards Board, lost control over their agendas due to the actions of DPEs.

Research limitations/implications

The improved concepts of DPEs will allow researchers to better identify the main agents of policy change and differentiate them from other supporters of policy ideas. Due to the qualitative nature of the study, the findings are not necessarily generalisable.

Practical implications

The findings from this study can help participants of agenda setting processes to gain a better understanding of the actions and behaviours of DPEs. This might allow standard setting bodies to mitigate against undue influences by DPEs.

Originality/value

This study is the first study that uses Schmidt’s concept of the sentient agent to address the limitations of Kingdon’s concept of PE and develops and applies characteristics to identify PEs and their actions. It is also the only study to date that investigates the GAAP/GFS harmonisation agenda setting process.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2019

Diego Mota Vieira

This study aims to analyze the use of discourse to solve issues related to coordination between advocacy coalitions in processes of gradual and transformative…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the use of discourse to solve issues related to coordination between advocacy coalitions in processes of gradual and transformative institutional change related to public policies.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical background is based on the advocacy coalition framework (ACF), new discursive institutionalism and critical discourse analysis theories. The research examines shorthand notes of public hearings held in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate between 1999 and 2012, carrying out a case study on Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant. The speech extracts were categorized according to the modes of operation of ideology and typical strategies of symbolic construction proposed by Thompson (1995).

Findings

The results suggest that the discourse can be an instrument of internal coordination and between coalitions that share beliefs about a policy, as in the case of Belo Monte. Potentially existing coalitions define their identities and set positions on controversial issues, aligning interests and expectations. In the case studied, the modes of operation of ideology verified as instruments of the coalitions were dissimulation, reification, fragmentation, unification and legitimation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper represents a unique analysis of the modes of operation of ideology (Thompson, 1999) in the case of Belo Monte. In addition, the paper aims to contribute to the New Discursive Institutionalism and to the ACF when it uses the critical discourse analysis to articulate a method to analyze the use of the Discourse by the coalitions. In fact, such an approach integrating the ACF, the New Discursive Institutionalism and the critical discourse analysis is something original. Finally, it also addresses a gap in ACF: issues related to advocacy coalition coordination.

Practical implications

Attentive readers linked to organizations working on infrastructure and environmental policies can benefit from the results by envisaging the deliberate manipulation of typical symbolic construction strategies and general modes of operation of ideology.

Social implications

The study sheds light on the daily and behind-the-scenes disputes among stakeholders who are interested in a certain public policy. It may draw attention to the access and professional use of the shorthand notes of the hearings held at the National Congress.

Originality/value

This paper aims to fill a gap pointed out by Jenkins-Smith et al. (2014) regarding problems of coordination of advocacy coalitions. In addition, it innovates by using critical discourse analysis as a methodological reference in ACF empirical studies. In addition, this work continues a trajectory of two other previously published studies dealing with the same phenomenon: a theoretical essay and a case study.

Details

RAUSP Management Journal, vol. 55 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2531-0488

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Book part
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Daniel Alvunger, Tiina Soini, Stavroula Philippou and Mark Priestley

This chapter provides a summary and a concluding discussion on the main findings from the different cases and chapters throughout this volume. The chapter revisits the…

Abstract

This chapter provides a summary and a concluding discussion on the main findings from the different cases and chapters throughout this volume. The chapter revisits the approach on curriculum making as non-linear and as framed around a conceptualisation of interrelated sites of activity – supra, macro, meso, micro and nano – presented in the introduction. A central conclusion of this book is that the meso site of activity stands out as critical for current developments within curriculum making, both in terms of a transformed role for the nation state in macro curriculum making, as well as implications of policy flows and processes from the supra site of activity. Based on our observations, we suggest an elaborated model for understanding curriculum making, with special attention to the significance of meso curriculum making and teacher agency. In the final part of the conclusions, we argue that there are a number of lessons to be learned from curriculum making in the European context. In line with the significance of meso curriculum making observed throughout the volume, we emphasize the importance of middle ground and mobility, the necessity of participatory curriculum making, and that systems of accountability need to be based on trust. We also underline the importance of a delicate balance concerning regulation– providing support, guidance and steering – together with a critical awareness of destructive as well as progressive forces for maintaining and providing the agency of the educational systemfor good curriculum making.

Details

Curriculum Making in Europe: Policy and Practice within and Across Diverse Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-735-0

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Chris Mason and Jo Barraket

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the prior work on social enterprise (SE) model comparisons by exposing the difficulties in producing universally comparative…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the prior work on social enterprise (SE) model comparisons by exposing the difficulties in producing universally comparative SE models. Furthermore, this paper seeks to trace different dominant stories of SE based on a combined historical and discursive analysis of Australian institutions shaping SE development.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper emulates the methodological approach taken by Kerlin (2013) and uses the same indices and measures adopted in this original model comparison. Although the valuable contribution of macro-level model comparison studies to the growing SE knowledge base is noted, it is proposed that categorisations are naturally exclusionary by their design, omitting emergent SE models and their institutional influences. These omissions pose difficulties for recognising and conceptualising hybrid organisations that often traverse institutional boundaries and frameworks (Doherty et al., 2014). A discourse analysis of SE policies in Australia was used to illustrate how micro-level appraisals of SE models differentiate from, and complement, the macro-level approach.

Findings

A combinatory analysis of Australian SEs, based on historical and discursive institutional theories, provides two stories about these organisations. The first story emerges that Australian SEs are partly shaped by institutions, the historical path-dependencies of which are associated with particular SE characteristics. Alternatively, using a discursive lens, the second story of Australian SEs emerges as a political subject, captured within a broader idea (e.g. social inclusion) that is coordinated between political domains and communicated within the public sphere. Therefore, it is argued that a combinatory approach shows SE models as they are, as well as how they might be – contingent on the implementation of identified policies.

Research limitations/implications

The major contribution is to critique and extend Kerlin’s (2013) approach by complementing the macro-level study of SE models with an analysis that considers the local-level innovations that drive unique SE models and applications. To enact this, the authors explore how closely macro-level approaches to SE categorisation are the subject of discursive construction, as well as historical events. Consequently, this paper contributes to existing knowledge by advancing existing approaches to SE model studies, illustrating how different stories of SE can be drawn out from combinatory methods and local knowledge.

Practical implications

The practical implication arising from this paper is that SE discourses are both a subject of capture and a site of contestation, meaning that various institutional actors play a role in shaping the “reality” of the field.

Social implications

The main social implication of this paper is that Australian SEs make a diverse contribution, but there are dangers that the discursive construction of civil society could narrow and constrain this.

Originality/value

The novelty inherent in this approach lies in bringing together two frameworks to explore the same field of action. By replicating Kerlin’s (2013) approach and bringing in a discursive analytical framework, it is shown that macro-level studies of SE sectors are enhanced by combinatory methodologies.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Victor Wong and Tat Chor Au-Yeung

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the youth narratives of Mr Leung Chun-ying, the Chief Executive (CE) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the youth narratives of Mr Leung Chun-ying, the Chief Executive (CE) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government between 2012 and 2017, which steered the directions of youth policies in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by the ideational school of institutionalism, a qualitative documentary study was conducted to analyse the policy addresses, speeches, and blog posts delivered by the then CE, which were all available on the website of the HKSAR Government. It was through a thematic analysis of the database that themes and sub-themes were generated for the discussion. Representative verbatim quotes are used for illustrating some of the youth policy ideas and discourses promoted under the Leung’s regime.

Findings

The findings suggest that the governing youth narratives could be categorised into two interrelated themes: behavioural patriotism and economic opportunism. The notions of youth development constructed in the narratives of Leung shape the definition of youth-related problems and solutions in relation to national identity and global competition.

Research limitations/implications

This study focusses on the previous term of HKSAR Government that cannot fully reveal the extent of policy continuities and changes. Yet, it could outline the overall picture and address the shortcomings of Hong Kong’s current youth policies viewed from both normative and cognitive perspectives. Methodological and analytical implications can be drawn for further studies on policy ideas and discourses.

Originality/value

The paper has two major contributions; the first of which is the illustration of an analytical framework connecting contents, tools, and justification of policies for capturing the dynamics and complexities of youth policies. Second, the findings of this study develop a critical understanding of neoliberal youth policies in both economic and moral senses that pose new challenges to young people and policy makers.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 38 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Ulla Hytti, Päivikki Kuoppakangas, Kati Suomi, Chris Chapleo and Massimo Giovanardi

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how healthcare professionals understand a new organisational brand and examine the ideas discussed in relation to it within…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how healthcare professionals understand a new organisational brand and examine the ideas discussed in relation to it within healthcare organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a discursive approach that facilitates understanding how the informants perceived a new organisation brand and how that might shape their activities in the enterprise.

Findings

The study identified four distinct interpretative repertoires: the organisational brand as an economic solution, the magic wand, the factory and a servant to the customer. The new brand was understood in terms of economic and business-like functions marked by external branding and its signs (logos, etc.). The brand is not communicated to patients or colleagues and the factory metaphor is applied to work practices. Hence, several potential dilemmas arise concerning the brand promise, customer expectations, economic and efficiency gains and the professional values of employees.

Research limitations/implications

Adoption of private-sector practices in semi-public or public-sector organisations is common. This study focuses on how private-sector ideas diffuse into the organisations and how they are translated within them.

Practical implications

The authors suggest a stronger emphasis on internal branding as a reconciliation to enhance legitimacy, high-quality customer service and staff wellbeing.

Originality/value

Theoretically, the unique contribution of the study is drawing upon healthcare branding, dilemma theory and discursive institutionalism in its interpretation. Consequently, it demonstrates how ideas about the brand and public healthcare are translated and communicated in the examined discourses and how those ideas reconstruct understanding and change behaviour within the organisations.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2020

Roger Moser, Jens Winkler, Gopalakrishnan Narayanamurthy and Vijay Pereira

The purpose of this paper is to critically review and explore how organizations knowledgeably respond to unfavorable institutional environments that exert institutional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically review and explore how organizations knowledgeably respond to unfavorable institutional environments that exert institutional pressures and thereby limit their decision-making and eventually their actual behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a thorough structuration and analysis of the literature in management and related fields, the authors present a comprehensive synthesis of organizational knowledgeable responses to institutional pressures.

Findings

Based on the review, the authors categorize organizational knowledgeable responses into three major types – passively responding to avoid non-conformity, reactively mitigating institutional pressures and proactively developing institutional environments toward less interfering setups.

Research limitations/implications

The authors discuss the enabling conditions for the categorized organizational knowledgeable responses as well as limitations to their application. They identify research gaps and formulate research questions to offer promising avenues for future work. The authors expect this detailed synthesis to lay the framework for investigating how the knowledge-based view of the organization influences its knowledgeable response to institutional pressure.

Practical implications

The authors elaborate on distinct passive, reactive and proactive strategies, which firms can apply to cope with institutional pressures. The contribution of this study will be of relevance to practitioners managing organizations in the face of unfavorable institutional setups, as well as to policymakers engaged in the development of institutions and interacting with affected organizations.

Originality/value

This study provides a valuable overview on developments in institutional theory, particularly on contributions to the “nascent literature” that examines heterogeneous organizational knowledgeable responses to institutional pressures.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2020

Kerem Gabriel Öktem and Cansu Erdogan

Over the last four decades, Turkey has built an elaborate social assistance regime, which provides extensive coverage of the poor but lacks some of the key characteristics…

Abstract

Purpose

Over the last four decades, Turkey has built an elaborate social assistance regime, which provides extensive coverage of the poor but lacks some of the key characteristics of European minimum income protection systems. The purpose of this paper is to explore what ideational roots underlie the regime and how these ideas and paradigms historically shaped the structure of the regime. The paper focuses on two central social assistance legislations: the social pensions law of 1976 and the Law that established the Fund for the Encouragement of Social Cooperation and Solidarity in 1986.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a discursive institutionalist approach, the paper combines a qualitative content analysis of parliamentary debates and official reports with a policy analysis of social assistance legislations in Turkey.

Findings

The paper shows that two competing policy paradigms shaped the ambivalent structure and design of Turkey social assistance regime: a welfare state paradigm and a state-organised charity paradigm. The welfare state paradigm, which perceives social assistance as a social right, was dominant in the 1970s and is embodied in the social pension programme. The state-organised charity paradigm, which aims to reinvigorate the Islamic tradition of charitable foundations (waqf), was dominant in the 1980s and is embodied in the Fund for the Encouragement of Social Cooperation and Solidarity. Today’s social assistance regime combines both elements in a curious synthesis.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to comparative social policy research and discursive institutionalism by uncovering the historical and ideational foundations of a largely neglected case, social assistance in Turkey.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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