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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Herman Aksom and Inna Tymchenko

This essay raises a concern about the trajectory that new institutionalism has been following during the last decades, namely an emphasis on heterogeneity, change and…

2715

Abstract

Purpose

This essay raises a concern about the trajectory that new institutionalism has been following during the last decades, namely an emphasis on heterogeneity, change and agentic behavior instead of isomorphism and conformist behavior. This is a crucial issue from the perspective of the philosophy and methodology of science since a theory that admits both change and stability as a norm has less scientific weight then a theory that predicts a prevalence of passivity and isomorphism over change and strategic behavior. The former provides explanations and predictions while the latter does not.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers an analysis of the nature, characteristics, functions and boundaries of institutional theories in the spirit of philosophy and methodology of science literature.

Findings

The power of the former institutional theory developed by Meyer, Rowan, DiMaggio and Powell lies in its generalization, explanation and prediction of observable and unobservable phenomena: as a typical organizational theory that puts forward directional predictions, it explains and predicts the tendency for organizations to become more similar to each other over time and express less strategic and interest-driven behavior, conforming to ever-increasing institutional pressures. A theory of isomorphism makes scientific predictions while its modern advancements do not. Drawing on Popper's idea of the limit of domains of explanation and limited domains of theories we present two propositions that may direct our attention towards the strength or weakness of institutional theories with regard to their explanations of organizational processes and behavior.

Practical implications

The paper draws implications for further theory building in institutional analysis by suggesting the nature of institutional explanations and the place of institutional change in the theoretical apparatus. Once institutional theory explains the tendency of the system towards equilibrium, there is no need to explain the origins and causes of radical change per se. Institutional isomorphism theory explains and predicts how even after radical changes organizational fields will move towards isomorphism, that is, institutional equilibrium. The task is, therefore, not to explain agency and change but to show that it is natural and inevitable processes that organizational field will return to isomorphic dynamics and move towards homogenization no matter how much radical change occurred in this field.

Originality/value

The paper discusses the practical problems with instrumental utility of institutional theories. In order to be useful any theory must clearly delineate its boundaries and offer explanations and predictions and it is only the former 1977/1983 institutional theory that satisfies these requirements while modern advancements merely offer ambiguous theoretical umbrellas that escape empirical tests. For researchers therefore it is important to recognize which theory can be applied in a given limited domain of research and which one has little or no value.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 August 2022

Alex Anlesinya, Kwesi Amponsah-Tawiah, Kwasi Dartey-Baah, Sampson Kudjo Adeti and Adwoa Benewaa Brefo-Manuh

There is a major lacuna in sustainable human resource management (HRM) research regarding the theoretical context of its adoption or implementation. Consequently, the…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a major lacuna in sustainable human resource management (HRM) research regarding the theoretical context of its adoption or implementation. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to examine the relative influence and interactive effects of different levels of institutional isomorphisms on sustainable HRM adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies the conceptual method and anchors the discussions on the institutional theory and the extant literature on the antecedents of sustainable HRM implementation.

Findings

Internal and external institutional isomorphisms will have complementary (synergies) or substitution (trade-offs) effects on sustainable HRM adoption. Furthermore, external institutional isomorphic pressures related to societal values and culture and stakeholders’ sustainability demands are likely to have greater influence on sustainable HRM implementation relative to the internal institutional isomorphic pressures related to managerial sustainability values and attitudes; sustainability-related HRM competencies; resource availability; and perceived sustainability benefits.

Originality/value

This study proposes a novel multi-level conceptual model on the implementation context of sustainable HRM for testing empirically. Furthermore, this study generates insight on how different levels of institutional isomorphic pressures relatively and interactively (synergies versus trade-offs) affect sustainable HRM adoption. This is significant because there is a view that HRM as a discipline is theoretically weak. Although the field has advanced theoretically, one of the areas that need more theorisation is the context of HRM. Hence, this study advances the theoretical context of sustainable HRM implementation through the perspectives of the institutional theory.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 April 2015

Rusdi Akbar, Robyn Ann Pilcher and Brian Perrin

This paper aims to explore the perceived drivers behind the implementation of performance measurement systems (PMSs) in Indonesian local government (ILG). It analytically…

3520

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the perceived drivers behind the implementation of performance measurement systems (PMSs) in Indonesian local government (ILG). It analytically assesses Indonesia’s attempt to introduce PMSs by addressing three research questions: Do organisations in developing countries actually use PMSs to aid decision-making and help plan for future performance improvement? (RQ1) Do the three isomorphic pressures exist in the development and use of PMSs? (RQ2) and If institutional isomorphism is evident, can accountability exist within the development and use of PMSs given these pressures? (RQ3).

Design/methodology/approach

This research explores the perceived drivers behind the implementation of performance measurement systems (PMSs) in Indonesian local government (ILG). It analytically assesses Indonesia’s attempt to introduce a PMS by addressing three research questions: RQ1 Do organisations in developing countries actually use PMSs to aid decision-making and help plan for future performance improvement? RQ2 Do the three isomorphic pressures exist in the development and use of PMSs? and RQ3 If institutional isomorphism is evident, can accountability exist within the development and use of PMSs given these pressures.

Findings

Results determined that although employees perceived coercive isomorphism as being a driver of ILG compliance with President B.J. Habibie’s presidential instruction (Inpres No. 7/1999), the Laporan Akuntabilitas Kinerja Institusi Pemerintah/Performance Accountability Report of State Apparatus (known as LAKIP), many councils were still not reporting and those who were, were not doing it well. Many councils lacked management motivation, with some choosing to merely mimic (mimetic isomorphism) what others were doing. Better-resourced councils made use of external consultants or local universities where knowledge was shared (normative isomorphism).

Practical implications

An understanding of factors influencing the development and use of performance measures, in turn, can be used not only to improve PMSs in the future but to improve the quantity and quality of LAKIP reporting.

Originality/value

The theoretical development and interpretation of this research is drawn from institutional theory with a major contribution being that it provides an in-depth conceptual overview and understanding of factors influencing the development and use of performance measures. Further, it fills a gap in the literature exploring PMSs and accountability in a developing country – in this case, Indonesia.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 April 2022

Nomanesi Madikizela-Madiya

Using organizational theory as a lens, in this chapter, the author critiques the neoliberal rationality in which the national and international ranking systems take…

Abstract

Using organizational theory as a lens, in this chapter, the author critiques the neoliberal rationality in which the national and international ranking systems take precedence over the institutional missions and visions in institutional operations. The author argues that these essentialized ranking systems overlook the necessary diversity and uniqueness of institutions in the higher education system. The author outlines the potential role of mission statements in setting the institutional priorities, and the unnecessary pressure caused neoliberalism against such priorities. The implications of such imperatives for quality in various academic practices are identified and the unfairness of coercive isomorphism in higher education is illustrated. The author then proposes a spatial approach in which universities, nationally and internationally, can appreciate diversity in identity and work together, drawing from each other’s strengths to strengthen the higher education system that will support students and promote national economies.

Details

Governance and Management in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-728-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 March 2019

Alexander Glebovskiy

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the criminogenic nature of isomorphism and groupthink in business organisations with a view to developing a conceptual model of the…

6606

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the criminogenic nature of isomorphism and groupthink in business organisations with a view to developing a conceptual model of the criminalisation process leading to criminal behaviour within businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on institutional theory and social psychology theory to discuss how isomorphic and groupthink processes may lead to criminal behaviour in the corporate world. The paper is based on a rigorous review of the relevant literature and theoretical frameworks regarding isomorphic dynamics, processes, factors, forces and mechanisms in the business context. The review was guided by a question of how isomorphic and groupthink processes can transform business organisations and its members into offenders. The approach applied was to transfer the existing theories of isomorphism and groupthink into the field of criminology, in order to devise a new model of the process of criminalisation.

Findings

The effects of isomorphic and groupthink processes can have a criminogenic effect on businesses and individuals in organisational settings which may coerce agents to engage in criminal behaviour. In crime-facilitative circumstances, isomorphism and groupthink foster criminal activity by cultivating homogeneous behaviour, conformity, resemblance, shared values and identical ways of thinking across and within firms. This herd behaviour can be regarded as one of the explanations for the pervasiveness of criminal and unethical behaviour in the corporate world, the consequences of which could be devastating.

Research limitations/implications

This is a theoretical analysis, not one based on empirical findings, though it does suggest a model for future testing.

Practical implications

This study explains the criminogenic nature of isomorphic and groupthink processes and contributes to the debate on the casualisation of corporate crime. This has important implications for the deterrence of illegal and unethical activities at both the organisational and institutional levels.

Originality/value

This study provides a conceptual model of the criminalisation process in businesses fostered by criminogenic isomorphism and groupthink.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Mohammad Imtiaz Ferdous, Carol A. Adams and Gordon Boyce

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influences on the adoption of environmental management accounting (EMA) in corporatised water supply organisations, from an…

1763

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influences on the adoption of environmental management accounting (EMA) in corporatised water supply organisations, from an institutional theory perspective, drawing on the concepts of reflexive isomorphism and institutional logics.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary research involves case analysis of three companies in the Australian water supply industry, drawing on interviews, internal documents and publicly available documents, including annual reports.

Findings

Two key drivers for the adoption and emergence of EMA are: the emergence of a government regulator in the form of the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and community expectations with regard to environmental performance and disclosure. The water organisations were found to be reflexively isomorphic, while seeking to align their commercial logic to “sustainability” and “ensuring community expectations” logics to the legitimate adoption of EMA.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by providing case study evidence of the intentions and motivations of management in adopting EMA, and the nature of that adoption process over an extended period. Further, it provides empirical evidence of the applicability of reflexive isomorphism in the context of EMA and institutional logics.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2020

Siqi Xu and Youmin Xi

This paper aims to explore the complete process and underlying mechanism that social enterprises obtain legitimacy during interactions with stakeholders from theoretical…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the complete process and underlying mechanism that social enterprises obtain legitimacy during interactions with stakeholders from theoretical integration of institutional theory and organization ecology perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on theoretical classification, this paper selects six typical Chinese social enterprises and conducts a multi-case analysis.

Findings

The study finds that social enterprises aim at legitimizing single entity or industry and shaping stakeholders’ cognitive boundary simultaneously. Therefore, by adopting constrained cooperation and competition activities, social enterprises use normative isomorphism to achieve personal legitimation and combining ecological niche construction, social enterprises achieve organizational legitimation. By adopting fragmented cooperation-dominant or competition-dominant activities, social enterprises use mimic isomorphism supplemented by competitive isomorphism or population structure creation to obtain industry legitimation. By adopting dynamically integrated coopetition activities, social enterprises use mimic isomorphism and reflexive isomorphism to reach field legitimation.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a mechanism model that the coopetition with stakeholders influences the legitimation process, identifies four stages of social enterprise’s legitimation process and the types of legitimacy obtained in each stage and fills the gap of Chinese indigenous social enterprise research.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Ru-Shiun Liou, Alex S. Rose and Alan E. Ellstrand

We view emerging-market multinational corporations (EMNCs) as agents for global isomorphism. EMNCs seek to enter developed markets not only to expand their business…

Abstract

We view emerging-market multinational corporations (EMNCs) as agents for global isomorphism. EMNCs seek to enter developed markets not only to expand their business operations but also to acquire advanced knowledge to enhance their core competencies. In entering these markets, EMNCs are subject to coercive, normative and cognitive pressures as they seek legitimacy. Once these firms gain legitimacy in advanced markets through the adoption of local business practices, they transfer these approaches to their headquarters in developing markets, establishing best practices in their home markets. Further, EMNCs may engage in efforts aimed at changing the institutional environment in the developing market to facilitate the transfer of learned practices from the developed market. Thus, we propose that these best practices lead to global isomorphism, but also note instances where symbolic adoption of developed market practices may slow the isomorphic process.

Details

Institutional Theory in International Business and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-909-7

Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Henny Murtini, Djoko Suhardjanto, Djuminah Djuminah and Agung Nur Probohudono

The objective of the study is to prove the suitability between the implementation of human capital disclosures on the financial statements of local governments in…

Abstract

The objective of the study is to prove the suitability between the implementation of human capital disclosures on the financial statements of local governments in Indonesia and the political system, economic system, legal system, social and cultural system, and accounting infrastructure system based on institutional theory. The study is carried out by conducting a meta-analysis on human capital disclosure fit to institutional theory. The study finds that it is more appropriate using accounting infrastructure system for human capital disclosures on the financial statements of local governments in Indonesia. Based on a meta-analysis, it is found that the normative isomorphism is widely used in Indonesia. It should be implemented on human capital disclosures on the financial statements of local governments in Indonesia. Then, it is also found that there are many regulations on human capital but there are only a few human capital disclosures on the financial statements of local governments in Indonesia.

Details

Recent Developments in Asian Economics International Symposia in Economic Theory and Econometrics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-359-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Monica Yang and MaryAnne Hyland

In this study the aim is to analyze multiple decisions in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) strategy to verify whether isomorphism appears in these decisions when a firm…

1342

Abstract

Purpose

In this study the aim is to analyze multiple decisions in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) strategy to verify whether isomorphism appears in these decisions when a firm imitates others and to determine under what conditions the link between imitation and the degree of similarity in M&As is weakened.

Design/methodology/approach

With a sample of 4,881 completed M&As in the financial service industry, the authors adopt the generalized multivariate regression model to test the hypothesized effects of the independent variables on the degree of similarity in M&As.

Findings

Support is found for the mimetic isomorphism argument. Furthermore, firm experience and local market segmentation weaken the positive relationship between imitation and the degree of similarity in M&As.

Originality/value

This study enhances the understanding of mimetic isomorphism by not only verifying the relationship between imitation and isomorphism, but also integrating the role of organizational active agency (firm experience) and the extent to which local market competitors affect imitation and isomorphism within the industry as a whole.

1 – 10 of over 4000