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Book part
Publication date: 10 April 2020

Dominika Wruk, Tino Schöllhorn and Achim Oberg

Is the sharing economy a field? Answering this question is crucial to understanding how sharing organizations look and behave, as well as how the sharing economy might…

Abstract

Is the sharing economy a field? Answering this question is crucial to understanding how sharing organizations look and behave, as well as how the sharing economy might develop. In this chapter, the authors applied two different field conceptions – organizational field and issue field – as a starting point for an explorative empirical analysis. To capture both field concepts, the authors collected relational data and data on organizations’ self-representations to see how organizations engaged in the debate on the sharing economy relate to each other. The observed network of organizations suggests that the sharing economy is an issue field. In addition, the core of this network shows the relational structure of an organizational field. Surprisingly, it is not an organizational field of the sharing economy. Instead, it is a field of organizations heavily engaged in proselytizing new organizational forms that will change other fields. What the authors observed is a new field configuration – the authors call it a disruptive field that is, less inward-oriented than other fields but much more engaged in changing other fields’ structures and dynamics. With these insights, the authors contribute to institutional research on field configuration and shed light on the phenomenon of the sharing economy and its potential development.

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Theorizing the Sharing Economy: Variety and Trajectories of New Forms of Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-180-9

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2016

Otto Hüther and Georg Krücken

European universities have changed dramatically over the last two to three decades. The two dominant frameworks to analyze these changes are “New Public Management” and…

Abstract

European universities have changed dramatically over the last two to three decades. The two dominant frameworks to analyze these changes are “New Public Management” and the construction of “complete organizations.” Both of these approaches highlight isomorphic processes leading to increased homogenization within European universities. However, empirical evidence suggests that European universities are differentiating from each other at the same time as they are becoming more isomorphic. To explain the simultaneity of homogenization and differentiation among European universities, we use the concept of nested organizational fields. We distinguish between a global field, a European field, and several national, state, and regional fields. Homogenization and differentiation are then the result of similar or different field embeddedness of European universities. The advantage of this approach lies in explaining homogenization and differentiation of universities within individual countries on the one hand, as well as cross-national homogenization and differentiation of subgroups of universities on the other hand.

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The University Under Pressure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-831-5

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Book part
Publication date: 24 March 2017

Roy A. Nyberg and Masaru Yarime

We examine the concept of ‘organisational fields’, a notion employed frequently, but at times with inconsistency, to describe supra-industrial conglomerations of…

Abstract

We examine the concept of ‘organisational fields’, a notion employed frequently, but at times with inconsistency, to describe supra-industrial conglomerations of organisations with a mutual interest. We find this concept analytically useful in today’s world of rapid technological change and of organisations searching for business across industry boundaries. With our study of smart-city development in Japan, we provide an alternative theory to the predominant socio-cognitive explanations of how organisational fields emerge. Based on our empirical case, the drivers for the early development of an organisational field are concrete organisational actions to assemble the tangible objects of the new field.

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Guillermo Casasnovas and Myrto Chliova

Hybrid organizations face particular challenges and opportunities due to combining different logics within one organizational structure. While research on hybrid…

Abstract

Hybrid organizations face particular challenges and opportunities due to combining different logics within one organizational structure. While research on hybrid organizing has advanced considerably our understanding of how these organizations can cope with such tensions, institutional theory suggests that organizational legitimacy and success will also depend on processes that take place at the field level. We connect these two perspectives to examine how field hybridity influences organizational legitimacy. Specifically, we consider both a field’s maturity and its degree of hybridity as two important variables that determine the effects that field hybridity has on organizational legitimacy. Drawing from extant research and leveraging our empirical work in the fields of microfinance, social entrepreneurship and impact investing to provide illustrative examples, we propose a framework that considers both positive and negative effects of field hybridity on organizational legitimacy. We contribute to the literature on hybrid organizing in two ways. First, we show that hybrid organizations face different challenges and opportunities depending on the stage of development and degree of hybridity of the field they operate in. Second, we suggest that the effects of field hybridity on organizational legitimacy can be understood as trade-offs that organizations need to understand and approach strategically to leverage opportunities and mitigate challenges.

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Organizational Hybridity: Perspectives, Processes, Promises
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-355-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Jon‐Arild Johannessen

Considers the question: how can we study organizational fields from a systemic angle of incidence? First determines what is meant by a systemic perspective, and then what…

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Abstract

Considers the question: how can we study organizational fields from a systemic angle of incidence? First determines what is meant by a systemic perspective, and then what is meant by an organizational field. Designs a superior methodological scheme, where the main entities in the systemic approach are clarified. Looks at the underlying process for each of the main entities in the research scheme. Develops a systemic research strategy for the study of organizational fields.

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Kybernetes, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Omar Lizardo

The “first generation” (Lammers, 1978, p. 486) of comparative analysis of organizations in sociology (e.g., Blau, 1965; Stinchcombe, 1959) focused on the “nuts and bolts”…

Abstract

The “first generation” (Lammers, 1978, p. 486) of comparative analysis of organizations in sociology (e.g., Blau, 1965; Stinchcombe, 1959) focused on the “nuts and bolts” of organizational structure as the key criterion with which to derive organizational typologies (Perrow, 1967; Pugh, Hickson, & Hinings, 1969). This initial cohort of analysts saw the intrinsic features – or “organizational attributes” (Blau, 1965, p. 326) – constitutive of the “technical core” of the organization, such as features related to the organization of the production process (Perrow, 1967) or the structure of allocation of discretion and authority (e.g., Etzioni, 1961), as the royal road to the development of a cogent approach to comparative analysis of organizations.

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Studying Differences between Organizations: Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-647-8

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Book part
Publication date: 26 September 2017

Achim Oberg, Valeska P. Korff and Walter W. Powell

Organizational fields are shaped by both the relations that organizations forge and the language they express. The structure and discourse of organizational fields have…

Abstract

Organizational fields are shaped by both the relations that organizations forge and the language they express. The structure and discourse of organizational fields have been studied before, but seldom in combination. We offer a methodological approach that integrates relations and expressions into a comprehensive visualization.

By mapping networks and discourse as co-constitutive, the method illuminates the mechanisms active in organizational fields. We utilize social impact evaluation as an issue field shaped by the presence of an interstitial community, and compare this structure with simulated alternative field configurations.

The simulations reveal that variation in organizations’ openness to adopting concepts from adjacent meaning systems alters field configurations: differentiation manifests under conditions of low overall openness, whereas moderate receptivity produces hybridizations of discourses and sometimes the emergence of an interstitial community that bridges domains. If certain organizations are open while others remain focused on their original discourse, then we observe integration in the discursive domain of the invariant organizations.

The observations from the simulations are represented by visualizing organizational fields as topographies of meaning, onto which interorganizational relations are layered. This representation localizes organizations and their interactions in a cultural space while emphasizing how meanings of relationships and organizational expressions vary with different field configurations. By adding meaning to network data, the resulting maps open new perspectives for institutional research on the adaptation, translation, and diffusion of concepts.

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Structure, Content and Meaning of Organizational Networks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-433-0

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Book part
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Rómulo Pinheiro, Lars Geschwind, Francisco O. Ramirez and Karsten Vrangbæk

Following the spirit of an earlier volume in the series focusing on ‘Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research’, the mandate of the current volume is to provide a…

Abstract

Following the spirit of an earlier volume in the series focusing on ‘Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research’, the mandate of the current volume is to provide a comparative account of dynamics across two organizational fields – health care and higher education – and, subsequently, two specific types of organizational forms – hospitals and universities. In so doing, we take a broader perspective encompassing various conceptual and theoretical points of departure emanating from, mostly, the institutional literature in the social sciences (and its various perspectives), but also from public policy and administration literatures – of relevance to scholars and the communities of practice working within either field. In this introductory paper to the volume, we provide a brief overview of developments across the two organizational fields and illuminate on the most important scholarly traditions underpinning the study of both system dynamics as a whole as well as universities and hospitals as organizations and institutions. We conclude by reflecting on the implication of the volume’s key findings in regards to comparative research within organizational studies.

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Towards A Comparative Institutionalism: Forms, Dynamics And Logics Across The Organizational Fields Of Health Care And Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-274-0

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Leopold Ringel, Petra Hiller and Charlene Zietsma

Boundaries are a popular topic among organizational researchers, many of whom argue that over the past decade we have witnessed a trend toward permeable boundaries and in…

Abstract

Boundaries are a popular topic among organizational researchers, many of whom argue that over the past decade we have witnessed a trend toward permeable boundaries and in some cases a blurring between organization and environment. Contrary to received wisdom, we argue that the question as to whether organizational boundaries have become more permeable or not cannot be decided empirically but is mainly a theoretical issue. Whether or not data indicate permeability or impermeability depends on the theoretical lens employed. Against this backdrop, we review how two prominent approaches to the study of boundaries, sociological systems theory and new institutionalism, not only arrive at different conclusions but also mandate diverging avenues of research. We focus in depth on several empirical trends: advances in information and communication technologies, increasingly dynamic fields and markets, invasive transparency regimes, and meta-organizations. We then introduce the contributions in this volume, showing how they elaborate on these and other empirical trends, drawing on different theoretical perspectives, to advance our understanding of the importance of boundaries within and around organizations.

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Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-829-3

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Frances Bowen and Bettina Wittneben

A fully functioning carbon accounting system must be based on measurement that is materially accurate, consistent over space and time, and incorporates data uncertainty…

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Abstract

Purpose

A fully functioning carbon accounting system must be based on measurement that is materially accurate, consistent over space and time, and incorporates data uncertainty. However, achieving these goals is difficult because current carbon accounting efforts are spread across three distinct organisational fields, each prioritising different goals. This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors identified three fields drawn together by the science of how carbon emissions can be measured, the social practices of carbon accounting, and accountability within the global carbon governance system. The authors hosted a workshop, and invited representatives participating in each of the organisational fields to highlight the contentious conversations within their field. The authors facilitated an across‐field exploration of whether and how to achieve accuracy, consistency and certainty in carbon accounting.

Findings

It was found that there are tensions between accuracy, consistency and certainty in carbon accounting both within and across organisational fields. Framing the evolution of carbon accounting as negotiation between these goals across fields yields powerful implications for addressing current challenges in carbon accounting.

Practical implications

The authors provide guidance to policymakers on how to recognise legitimate uncertainty in carbon management science, manage the cost‐benefits of policy and reporting mechanisms, and ensure actual greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Originality/value

This paper exploits the unusual approach of integrating carbon accounting across levels of analysis, from the molecular level through processes, organisations, industries and nations. This approach should help scientific, corporate and policy decision‐makers move towards a more fully functioning carbon accounting system.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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