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Article

Silvia Pereira de Castro Casa Nova, Isabel Costa Lourenço and Renato Ferreira LeitãoAzevedo

This study aims to analyse the impacts of an institutional change process on a specific higher education institution in Europe and the trade-offs between the faculty…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse the impacts of an institutional change process on a specific higher education institution in Europe and the trade-offs between the faculty perceptions of success and the organization image during this process, in light of the identity institutional theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The impacts of this institutional change are analysed and discussed based on in-depth interviews conducted with faculty members of the accounting department in which they reflected upon academic success vis-a-vis the career assessment system adopted, followed up by those faculty members’ answering an electronic questionnaire about organizational identity and image perception (Gioia et al., 2000).

Findings

Considering the individual perspectives, faculty are concerned about their vocations and aspirations, with feelings of apprehension and insecurity, perceiving the institutional goals as too high and potentially unattainable. By shifting the priority towards research, costs in terms of losing the institutional excellence in teaching might arise, which has been traditionally keen to the institute’s organizational identity and consistent with faculty’s perceptions of academic success.

Research limitations/implications

As in any research endeavour, some limitations might emerge. First, the authors addressed the context of a specific business school, in a European country. It is certainly true that culture plays a role in terms of both organizational and national levels. The authors acknowledge this as a limitation. Nevertheless, this research takes a “local” stance, the logic of academic evaluation and its impacts on institutional and individual identity formation processes is a worldwide phenomenon. Second, in defining the authors’ selection criteria, the authors excluded the possibility of other voices to be heard, both in the department itself and in the business school. Regarding the department, the authors argue that those are the ones who could influence future decisions, considering that they are the only ones eligible for the governing bodies under the institute’s regulations. Regarding the business school, adding other department(s) means adding other discipline(s) to the authors’ analysis with specific and different dynamics of researching, publishing and teaching, which also impacts the expectations regarding career and academic success.

Practical implications

First, before beginning an institutional change process, it is necessary to assess the vocations and aspirations of its members. The solution requires to reanalyse academic career premises and to reconsider the weights given to each academic activity, or furthermore, to offer more than one career path, so as to make it flexible for each faculty to follow their vocations and aspirations or to adapt to life demands. Second, in terms of organizational identity and image, the challenge is to minimize the gap between the construed external image and the internal identity, striving to achieve a balance between teaching, research, outreach and service.

Originality/value

Because of the nature of the academic work, the authors propose that the application of the theory should be preceded by a careful consideration of what is academic success. The misalignments studied and reported here reveal a multilevel phenomenon, wherein individual academic identities are often in conflict with the institutional image. The authors’ study entails a contribution to the application of the identity institutional theory to academic institutions.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article

Konstantinos Pitsakis, Marina G. Biniari and Thijs Kuin

The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework that explains how individual organizational members' self‐construction processes motivate them to support or reject…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework that explains how individual organizational members' self‐construction processes motivate them to support or reject decoupling as a form of resistance to institutionally mandated change.

Design/methodology/approach

Most studies have looked at powerful organizational actors and top management teams that decide to decouple. This paper broadens the understanding through a micro‐level approach that focuses on the role of individual members within organizations. Specifically, it looks at what happens inside organizations after the decision to decouple has been taken.

Findings

This paper identifies three alternative self‐identity construction pathways that members may choose following the decision of an organization to decouple: strong identification with the organization; strong identification with the institutional pressure; and adoption of both organizational and institutional identities. The framework specifies how and under which conditions the way individuals identify and manage identity multiplicity impacts organizational resistance to change.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could test the proposed framework particularly through case studies or qualitative designs that look deep into organizational processes and individual attitudes towards decoupling.

Practical implications

Practitioners, particularly top management teams, can adopt a moderating role in influencing the identification process of their employees. They can also communicate better why efficiency is more important than the mandated changes, and why decoupling must be supported to safeguard the organization's “efficient” identity.

Originality/value

The paper integrates institutional theory's macro‐perspectives with micro‐perspectives of individual members' identity and self‐construction processes within organizations. It contributes to existing institutional accounts of agentic change and resistance to change through a dynamic framework that prescribes individual interests and preferences based on identification processes.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article

Chloé Adler and Carole Lalonde

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize a body of research addressing changes in academic identity brought on by neo-liberal university management while proposing a new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize a body of research addressing changes in academic identity brought on by neo-liberal university management while proposing a new interpretation based on the institutional work theory and a relational approach to agency.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyzed 19 qualitative empirical studies regarding the impact of new public management policies on academic identity within universities from different countries to support a qualitative meta-synthesis.

Findings

The meta-synthesis established a classification of work identity and self-identity that reflects variable but globally difficult experiences with the universities’ neo-liberal management. The results also indicate that, paradoxically, academics contribute to the perpetuation of managerialism through protection strategies and institutional maintenance work while acknowledging their painful effects on their identity. Despite the control and monitoring measures put in place by university administrations, academics have assumed a pragmatic approach to identity by using the prevailing spaces of autonomy and engaging in constant self-questioning. Those involved could make better use of these free spaces by adopting projective agency, that is by expanding the areas of support, collaboration and creativity that, by their own admission, make up the academic profession.

Originality/value

This meta-synthesis sheds light on the limits of current academic identity research while advancing studies conducted on institutional work, primarily by highlighting the type of agency used by actors during institutional change; at a practical level, this research promotes discussion on the manner in which academics could use their agency and reflexive skills by pushing their institutional work surrounding identity recreation further.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part

Anna E. Roberts

Identities provide a human link between macro-level mechanisms and microfoundations of institutions. Yet, as the literature on identity within the microfoundations of…

Abstract

Identities provide a human link between macro-level mechanisms and microfoundations of institutions. Yet, as the literature on identity within the microfoundations of institutions has developed, scholars have begun to shift their understanding of “who” populates the microfoundations of institutions. This chapter offers a historical review of this niche, but growing, area of research. More specifically, the author identifies and discusses three phases of research on identity within the microfoundations of institutions, their ontological and epistemological assumptions, and their implications for the area. To conclude, the author reflects on the possible theoretical avenues for future research on identities within the microfoundations of institutions.

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Article

Lee C. Jarvis

The purpose of this paper is to help introduce the empirical study of emotion within an institutional framework by examining shame and shaming as drivers of institutional

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to help introduce the empirical study of emotion within an institutional framework by examining shame and shaming as drivers of institutional stability and change, respectively.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducted a qualitative study of 101 US print media articles generated by major US news publications and trade magazines from 1999 to 2011 in the wake of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 1999 report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System.

Findings

This study resulted in two major findings. First, this research found that the institutions constituting the collective professional identity of physicians persisted via institutionalized shame inculcated in physicians during their extensive socialization into the medical profession. Potential shame over medical error served to reinforce institutionalized cultures which exacerbated medicine’s problems with error reporting. Second, this study reveals that field-level actors engage in shaming to affect institutional change. This research suggests that the IOM report was in effect a shaming effort directed at physicians and the institutions constituting their collective identity.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides some verification of recent theoretical works incorporating emotion into institutional theory and also illustrates how shame can be incorporated into collective identity as an institutional imperative.

Originality/value

This study provides a rare empirical investigation of emotion within an institutional framework, and illuminates ways in which the emotion of shame interacts with institutional processes. This research also focusses on collective identity and institutional stability, two topics which are largely ignored by contemporary institutional researchers but are integral aspects of social life.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part

Lærke Højgaard Christiansen and Michael Lounsbury

How do organizations manage multiple logics in response to institutional complexity? In this paper, we explore how intraorganizational problems related to multiple logics…

Abstract

How do organizations manage multiple logics in response to institutional complexity? In this paper, we explore how intraorganizational problems related to multiple logics may be addressed via the mechanism of institutional bricolage – where actors inside an organization act as “bricoleurs” to creatively combine elements from different logics into newly designed artifacts. An illustrative case study of a global brewery group’s development of such an artifact – a Responsible Drinking Guide Book – is outlined. We argue that intraorganizational institutional bricolage first requires the problematization of organizational identity followed by a social process involving efforts to renegotiate the organization’s identity in relation to the logics being integrated. We show that in response to growing pressures to be more “responsible,” a group of organizational actors creatively tinkered with and combined elements from social responsibility and market logics by drawing upon extant organizational resources from different times and spaces in an effort to reconstitute their collective organizational identity.

Details

Institutional Logics in Action, Part B
Type: Book
ISBN:

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Book part

Osnat Hazan and Tammar B. Zilber

The authors explore self-identity construction as a mechanism of institution­aliz­ation at the individual level. Building on in-depth analysis of life stories of yoga…

Abstract

The authors explore self-identity construction as a mechanism of institution­aliz­ation at the individual level. Building on in-depth analysis of life stories of yoga practitioners who are at different stages of practice, the authors found that as yoga practitioners are more exposed to the yogic institution, yogic meanings gradually infuse their general worldview and self-concept. The authors follow the line of research which focuses on professional identity construction as institutional work, yet, opening the “black box,” the authors argue that institutional meanings take root at the individual level beyond the institutional context and beneath the explicit level of identity.

Details

Microfoundations of Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-123-0

Keywords

Content available
Article

Kaisa Koskela-Huotari and Jaakko Siltaloppi

Only a few concepts in the service literature are as pervasive yet as undertheorized as is the concept of the actor. With a growing interest toward value creation as a…

Abstract

Purpose

Only a few concepts in the service literature are as pervasive yet as undertheorized as is the concept of the actor. With a growing interest toward value creation as a systemic and institutionally guided phenomenon, there is a particular need for a more robust conceptualization of humans as actors that adopts a processual, as opposed to a static, view. The purpose of this paper is to build such processual conceptualization to advance service-dominant (S-D) logic, in particular, and service research, in general.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual and extends S-D logic's institutionally constituted account of the actor by drawing from identity theory and social constructionism.

Findings

The paper develops a processual conceptualization of the human actor that explicates four social processes explaining the dynamics between two identity concepts—social and personal identity—and institutional arrangements. The resulting framework reveals how humans are simultaneously constituted by institutions and able to perform their roles in varying, even institution-changing, ways.

Research limitations/implications

By introducing new insights from identity theory and social constructionism, this paper reconciles the dualism in S-D logic's current description of actors, as well as posits the understanding of identity dynamics and the processual nature of actors as central in many service-related phenomena.

Originality/value

This paper is among the few that explicitly theorize about the nature of human actors in S-D logic and the service literature.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 30 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article

Rifat Kamasak, Mustafa Ozbilgin, Sibel Baykut and Meltem Yavuz

Treatment of intersectionality in empirical studies has predominantly engaged with individual categories of difference. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that…

Abstract

Purpose

Treatment of intersectionality in empirical studies has predominantly engaged with individual categories of difference. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that there is utility in exploring intersectionality at the intersection of individual and institutional levels. As such the authors move beyond the polarised take on intersections as either individual or institutional phenomenon and tackle intersectionality as a relational phenomenon that gains meaning at the encounter of individuals and institutions in context. Therefore, the authors explicate how intersectionality features as forms of solidarity and hostility in work environments. As such the authors posit that not only individuals but also the institutions should change if inclusion is aimed at societal and organisational levels.

Design/methodology/approach

A thematic analysis on qualitative interview data of a purposive- and snowball-selected sample of 11 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer working adults in Turkey was used.

Findings

This paper finds evidence to support the existence of a multidimensional model of intersectionality, where conflicting and complementary individual and institutional intersections create four intersectional typologies in the form of intersectional hostility, intersectional struggle, intersectional adjustment and intersectional solidarity.

Originality/value

The extant literature offers rich insights into individual intersectionality but sheds very little light on institutional intersectionality and its interaction with individual intersectionality. This paper attempts to fill in this gap by investigating intersectional encounters as interactions between the individual and institutional intersections.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article

Hongwei He and Yehuda Baruch

The objective of this paper is to report a case study investigating how organizational identity evolves during institutional change within a UK building society.

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to report a case study investigating how organizational identity evolves during institutional change within a UK building society.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs an inductive case study, which is appropriate for examining such change processes. It builds on grounded theory, considered appropriate for such an explanatory research.

Findings

The paper finds that: institutional change, especially regulation and practice changes, serves as the trigger to increasing salience of identity issues, i.e. identity ambiguity, legitimacy crisis and perceived identity obsolescence; leadership, organizational culture and strategic exercises are salient apparatuses to tackle identity problems caused by external pressure; and a new identity is formed as a result of the managerial interventions, characterised by the rediscovery of historical roots, modernization and dualism.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides an account of identity change, given a broader business environment change context within which the organization operates. Utilizing qualitative study of one case may be taken as a limitation.

Originality/value

The theoretical contribution reflected in the findings has implications for the interfaces between identity and institutional environment and organizational culture.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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