Organizational Responses to Institutional Complexity Stemming from Emerging Logics: The Role of Individuals

Bertels, Stephanie and Lawrence, Thomas B. (2016) Organizational Responses to Institutional Complexity Stemming from Emerging Logics: The Role of Individuals. Strategic Organization, 14 (4). pp. 336-372.

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Abstract

In this article, we address two important gaps in the study of organizational responses to institutional complexity. First, we examine how organizations respond to institutional complexity associated with newly emerging logics that lack well-defined sets of practices; although previous research has examined logics new to a field, those logics have tended to be well-established in other domains. Based on the responses of 10 Canadian public schools to the emerging logic of Aboriginal distinctiveness, we identify four organizational responses (reinterpretation, advocacy, isolation, and integration) that we argue are distinctive of emerging logics. Second, we explore how individuals in organizations shape organizational responses to institutional complexity. We show how individuals’ sensemaking and institutional biographies combine to affect the kinds of action in which organizations engage (discursive or practical) and the scope of that action (expansive across the organization or confined to a subset of actors).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Strategy, organizational behaviour
Subject(s): Strategy
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 11:00
Date of author-version deposit: 12 April 2016
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2017 08:25
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/6129

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