Institutional Complexity as a Strategic Resource: Navigating the Field Following a Disruption

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Abstract

We investigated how actors navigate an organizational field marked by prolonged institutional complexity following changes initiated by a government reform. In fields marked by prolonged complexity, individuals can meaningfully engage with multiple logics available to them to respond to change. When changes in the external environment disrupt previously forged pragmatic collaborations, actors may be forced to renegotiate their field positions. Through the analysis of a multiple case study, we show how actors navigated the field and renegotiated their position by engaging with institutional logics as tools. We uncover the use of three key strategies: defending, co-opting, and reframing. Depending upon which strategies are used following a disruption, the formation of new collaborations, particularly when power dynamics have shifted, may prove to be difficult. We contribute to the literature on institutional complexity and logics, showing how actors strategically engage with logics to navigate fields marked by prolonged complexity, and the effect of these strategies on the formation of pragmatic collaborations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Volume2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
ISSN (Print)0065-0668

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