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The “micro” turn in institutional research is a welcome development in a field that has commonly adopted a macro approach to the study of institutions. Nevertheless…
The “micro” turn in institutional research is a welcome development in a field that has commonly adopted a macro approach to the study of institutions. Nevertheless, research in the emergent “microinstitutional” tradition often ignores a fundamental social form: social interaction. The goal of this chapter is to bring this form of society back into institutional analysis, as a key mesocomponent of an “inhabited institutional” approach. The authors argue that social interactions are vital to the understandings of institutions, how they operate, and their impact on society. The authors advance inhabited institutionalism as a mesosociological approach that is consistent with key premises of institutional theory.
Managing attrition is a major challenge for outsourcing vendors. Literature on management control in offshore outsourcing is dominated by the formal approaches to control…
Managing attrition is a major challenge for outsourcing vendors. Literature on management control in offshore outsourcing is dominated by the formal approaches to control design, which do not adequately consider the influence of contextual factors. This article aims to adopt the lens of institutional theory, and use empirical data gathered from case studies in both the UK and India to improve the understanding of the institutional logics that shape the control of attrition.
This article draws on in‐depth qualitative research undertaken with directors and senior managers in client and vendor firms engaged in outsourcing relationships that span both corporate and national boundaries. Drawing on empirical data from the UK and India, the interplay between the management control of attrition and contextual factors is analysed, and the practices adopted to manage these contextual factors are also identified and discussed.
The analysis presents relevant aspects of the regulative, normative and cognitive institutions inhabited by vendor firms and the challenges such aspects present for managing attrition. The dynamics of institutions and control are discussed in the area of attrition, and the interplay between institutions and control is outlined. The regulative, normative and cognitive institutions inhabited by vendor firms contrast markedly to that of the client in relation to social and legal rules, norms and practices.
The paper develops a theoretical basis for linking control and context in offshore outsourcing, drawing on the work of Scott in institutional theory, and Friedland and Alford, in institutional logics. This paper offers an alternative conceptualisation of control in attrition based upon rationalistic modelling through institutional logics.
This paper offers key implications for research, in improving the understanding of contextual factors and management control in global outsourcing relationships. Both clients and vendors in offshore outsourcing need to be aware of the influence of contextual factors when managing attrition.
The interplay of institutional logics and implications on the control of attrition provides an interesting approach to understanding how firms manage attrition in offshore outsourcing.
The United States has an uncomfortable relationship with pleasure. Cultural ambivalence is evident in discourses surrounding pleasure and the labeling and treatment of…
The United States has an uncomfortable relationship with pleasure. Cultural ambivalence is evident in discourses surrounding pleasure and the labeling and treatment of those who act on their desires. Pleasure seeking, generally understood in moral terms, is often medicalized and criminalized (as in the case of pregnancy prevention and drug use), placing questions of how to manage pleasure under the purview of medical and legal actors. At the macrolevel, institutions police pleasure via rules, patterns of action, and logics, while at the microlevel, frontline workers police pleasure via daily decisions about resource distribution. This chapter develops a sociolegal framework for understanding the social control of pleasure by analyzing how two institutions – medicine and criminal justice – police pleasure institutionally and interactionally. Conceptualizing medicine and criminal justice as paternalistic institutions acting as arbiters of morality, I demonstrate how these institutions address two cases of pleasure seeking – drug use and sex – by drawing examples from contemporary drug and reproductive health policy. Section one highlights shared institutional mechanisms of policing pleasure across medicine and criminal justice such as categorization, allocation of professional power, and the structuring of legitimate consequences for pleasure seeking. Section two demonstrates how frontline workers in each field act as moral gatekeepers as they interpret and construct institutional imperatives while exercising discretion about resource allocation in daily practice. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how understanding institutional and interactional policing of pleasure informs sociolegal scholarship about the relationships between medicine and criminal justice and the mechanisms by which institutions and frontline workers act as agents of social control.
The author distinguishes between state, process, and object perspectives on institutions and institutionalization. While all-purpose process approaches dominate the…
The author distinguishes between state, process, and object perspectives on institutions and institutionalization. While all-purpose process approaches dominate the literature, the author argues that these are analytically insufficient without theorizing the nature of “institutional objects.” Building on recently developed analytic disaggregations of the culture concept in cultural sociology, the author argues that doings, sayings, codes, and artifacts exhaust the broad classes of potential objects subject to institutionalization processes. The proposed approach provides a coherent ontology for future empirical work, features robust microfoundations, places institutional routines and practices in a material context, and acknowledges the importance of semiotic codes and vocabularies in organizational fields.
Service scholars are finding that institutions – enduring social structures, such as rules, norms, beliefs – are increasingly important in theorizing on service-related…
Service scholars are finding that institutions – enduring social structures, such as rules, norms, beliefs – are increasingly important in theorizing on service-related phenomena. The purpose of this paper is to advance the use of institutional theory in service research by synthesizing the key insights from institutional theory that have been applied to service-related phenomena and developing a research agenda to guide the future use of institutional theory in service research.
This paper is an integrative literature review covering 68 articles from major service research and marketing journals that adopt institutional concepts and frameworks to study service-related phenomena.
The paper maps the “institutional turn” of service research, that is, the increasing tendency to draw on institutional theory for theoretical insights within service research and builds a conceptual framework of the institutional stabilization and destabilization mechanisms that explain endurance and change in service phenomena. The paper also proposes a research agenda that outlines four previously ignored aspects of institutions that have important implications for service research.
In addition to synthesizing insights and proposing directions for future research, the paper highlights specific theoretical and methodological considerations for the future use of institutional theory within service research. The literature review is limited to the 13 major service research and marketing journals.
This paper is the first literature review of the use of institutional theory in service research.
Following Philip Selznick’s lead in using pragmatist social science to understand issues of public concern we conducted a study of failed innovation in the commercial…
Following Philip Selznick’s lead in using pragmatist social science to understand issues of public concern we conducted a study of failed innovation in the commercial construction industry (CCI). We find that social heuristics – collectively constructed and maintained interpretive decision-making frames – significantly shape economic and non-economic decision-making practices. Social heuristics are the outcome of industry-based “institutionalization processes” and are widely held and commonly relied on in CCI to reduce uncertainty endemic to decision-making; they provide actors with both a priori and ex post facto justifications for economic decisions that appear socially rational to industry co-participants. In the CCI – a project-centered production network – social heuristics as shared institutions sustain network-based social order but in so doing discourage novel technologies and impede innovation. Social heuristics are actor-level constructs that reflect macro-level institutional arrangements and networked production relations. The concept of social heuristics offers the promise of developing a genuinely social theory of individual economic choice and action that is historically informed, contextually situated, and neither psychologically nor structurally reductionist.
Drawing on insights from a yearlong ethnography and in-depth survey of the members of a Buddhist monastery located in the heart of modern Europe, we examine how members of…
Drawing on insights from a yearlong ethnography and in-depth survey of the members of a Buddhist monastery located in the heart of modern Europe, we examine how members of the organization come to be more or less involved in the organization and in its core institutional logic. Here we present an exploratory analysis of how individuals’ beliefs about Buddhism and its relationship to everyday life are deeply intertwined with and articulated into different regimes of organizational activities, rituals, and religious practices. Borrowing from institutional logics theory, we use methods for illustrating the relational structure that articulates dualities linking beliefs and practices together. We show that dually ordered assemblages can reveal different types of logics embraced by different members of an organization. Our principal contention is that the greater the structural alignment between an individual’s belief structure, their repertoire of practices, and the institutional logic of the organization, the more well integrated that individual will likely be within the organization, the higher the probability of transformational changes of personal identity, as well as the greater probability of overall success in organizational membership recruitment and retention.
Organizations that adopt new practices employ managers to make decisions about how to materialize these practices. I examine how these managers move between the meanings…
Organizations that adopt new practices employ managers to make decisions about how to materialize these practices. I examine how these managers move between the meanings and resources found in extra-local and local realms. I find that managers’ practices shift over time from adapting BPR practices to inhabiting BPR as an idea. Managers’ approaches are shaped by each organization’s history of efforts to introduce extra-local ideas. Rather than adapting BPR practices, managers draw on change tools, techniques, and methods that have worked in the organization and integrate BPR work into ongoing interactions, activities, and language in the local context.