Call for Papers
Corporate philanthropists, NGOs, aid organizations, and cooperatives try to diffuse their organizational forms,
practices, and values in developing countries to address important human needs such as sustainable development and poverty
alleviation (Battilana & Dorado, 2010; Dacin et al., 2011; Yunus et al., 2010). Many initiatives fail, however. NGO-built
wells fall into permanent disrepair because villages cannot maintain them (Burkey, 1993; Damberger, 2012). Microfinance has
led to worsening poverty and even suicide among hopeless borrowers (Van Rooyen et al., 2012), or has not targeted the riskiest
"poorest of the poor" (Hulme & Mosley, 1996; Dawkins Scully, 2004). Typically, such failures result from poor understanding
of local institutional conditions. Even when institution-building projects work in one geographical context, they may fail
to scale and diffuse if they are not effectively bridged into new contexts.
In this sub-theme, we are interested in understanding how institution-building projects by corporate philanthropists, cooperatives, social businesses, hybrid organizations, NGOs, etc., contextually bridge their projects with local actors to ensure their projects become accepted and durable in local contexts. Contextual bridging involves “transferring new meanings, practices and structures into a given context in a way that is sensitive to the norms, practices, knowledge and relationships that exist in this context” (McKague et al., forthcoming), to ensure that social value initiatives have lasting effects on their target regions. While much work has focused on the efforts and skills of institutional entrepreneurs (Battilana et al., 2009; Fligstein, 1997; Déjean et al., 2004), such work has been criticized as taking an overly heroic view of individual actors (Suddaby, 2010), while ignoring the idea that institutions are interpreted and enacted by the institutional inhabitants who reproduce, adapt (Czarniawska & Sevon, 1996; Sahlin-Andersson, 1996), and sometimes only ceremonially adopt (Meyer & Rowan, 1977), or outright ignore (Oliver, 1991) them in everyday interactions (Barley, 2008; Dokko et al., 2012; Hallett, 2010; Hallett & Ventresca, 2006).
These outcomes may be more likely when the initial institutional entrepreneur leaves the institutional context, as we see in developing countries when instigating NGOs, firms or aid agencies make changes which fail to last (Moyo, 2009). The influence and efforts of local actors may be critical in building a social structure that will support and maintain nascent institutions designed to reduce inequalities and restructure power (McKague et al., forthcoming; Barin Cruz et al., 2015). Yet, we know little about the empowerment and enabling of local actors, and the work they perform toward the acceptance, adaptation and diffusion of nascent institutional projects. Local actors may or may not negotiate with others to contextualize new institutions, either facilitating or frustrating diffusion. Furthermore, the maintenance of institutions is often largely in the hands of local actors (Hallett, 2010; Hallett & Ventresca, 2006). Thus, theoretically, our interest is in the involvement of local actors in the institutional work for the negotiation, contextualization and maintenance of nascent institutions leading to their diffusion.
We encourage submissions addressing questions like the following:
- How do local actors work to contextually bridge institution building projects?
- How do local actors maintain institutional projects when the external sponsor leaves?
- Are some institutional projects more likely to be influenced by local actors than others?
- Are certain local actors more influential than others?
- How can local actors be empowered to work toward institutional change?
- Can the influence of a local actor 'migrate' to another context?
- Barin Cruz, L., Delgado, N.A., Leca, B., & Gond, J-P. (2015): "Institutional Resilience in Extreme Operating Environments. The Role of Institutional Work." Business Society, published online before print, doi: 10.1177/0007650314567438.
- Barley, S.R. (2008): "Coalface Institutionalism." In: R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, K. Sahlin & R. Suddaby (eds.): The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism. London: SAGE Publications, pp. 491–518.
- Battilana, J., & Dorado, S. (2010): "Building Sustainable Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations." Academy of Management Journal, 53 (6), 1419–1440.
- Battilana, J., Leca, B., & Boxenbaum, E. (2009): "How Actors Change Institutions: Towards a Theory of Institutional Entrepreneurship." Academy of Management Annals, 3 (1), 65–107.
- Baum, J.A.C., & Powell, W.W. (1995): "Cultivating an Institutional Ecology of Organizations: Comment on Hannan, Carroll, Dundon, and Torres." American Sociological Review, 60 (4) 529–538.
- Burkey, S. (1993): People First. A Guide to Self-Reliant, Participatory Rural Development. London: Zed Books.
- Czarniawska, B., & Sevon, G. (1996): Translating Organizational Change. Berlin: de Gruyter.
- Dacin, M.T., Dacin, P. A., & Tracey, P. (2011): "Social Entrepreneurship: A Critique and Future Directions." Organization Science, 22 (5), 1203–1213.
- Davis, G.F., Diekmann, K. A., & Catherine H. T. (1994): "The Decline and Fall of the Conglomerate Firm in the 1980s: The Deinstitutionalization of an Organizational Form." American Sociological Review, 59 (4), 547–70.
- Damberger, D. (2012): Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDxTalks#p/search/O/HGiHU-agsGY
- Dawkins Scully, N. (2004): Micro-credit no Panacea for Poor Women. Global Development Research Centre, Washington, DC; http://www.gdrc.org/icm/wind/micro.html
- Déjean, F., Gond, J.-P., & Leca, B. (2004): "Measuring the Unmeasured: an Institutional Entrepreneur Strategy in an Emerging Industry." Human Relations, 57 (6), 741–764.
- DiMaggio, P.J. (1988): "Interest and agency in institutional theory." In: L.G. Zucker (ed.): Research on Institutional Patterns and Organizations: Culture and Environment. Cambridge: Ballinger, pp. 3–22.
- Dokko, G., Nigam, A., & Rosenkopf, L. (2012): "Keeping Steady as She Goes: A Negotiated Order Perspective on Technological Evolution." Organization Studies, 33 (5-6), 681–703.
- Fligstein, N. (1997): "Social Skill and Institutional Theory." American Behavioral Scientist, 40 (4), 397–405.
- Hallett, T. (2010): "The Myth Incarnate. Recoupling Processes, Turmoil, and Inhabited Institutions in an Urban Elementary School." American Sociological Review, 75 (1), 52–74.
- Hallett, T., & Ventresca, M.J. (2006): "Inhabited Institutions: Social Interactions and Organizational Forms in Gouldner's Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy." Theory and Society, 35 (2), 213–236.
- Hulme, D. & Mosley, P. (1996): Finance Against Poverty. Effective Institutions for Lending to Small Farmers and Microenterprises in Developing Countries. London: Routledge.
- Khanna, T., & Palepu, K.G. (1997): "Why Focused Strategies May Be Wrong for Emerging Markets." Harvard Business Review, (75) 4, 41–51.
- Kostova, T., & Zaheer, S. (1999): "Organizational Legitimacy under Conditions of Complexity: The Case of the Multinational Enterprise." Academy of Management Review, 24 (1), 64–81.
- Lawrence, T.B., & Suddaby, R. (2006): "Institutions and institutional work." In: S. Clegg, C. Hardy, T.B. Lawrence & W.R. Nord (eds.): Handbook of Organization Studies. London: SAGE Publications, pp. 215–254.
- McKague, K., Zietsma, C., & Oliver, C. (2014): "Market Development in Least Developed Countries: Leveraging Markets as Inhabited Institutions." Working paper.
- Mair, J., & Martí, I. (2009): "Entrepreneurship in and around institutional voids: A case study from Bangladesh." Journal of Business Venturing, 24 (5), 419–435.
- Mair, J., Martí, I., & Ventresca, M.J. (2012): "Building Inclusive Markets in Rural Bangladesh: How Intermediaries Work Institutional Voids." Academy of Management Journal, 55 (4), 819–850.
- Meyer, J.W., & Rowan, B. (1977): "Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as myth and Ceremony." American Journal of Sociology, 83, 340–363.
- Moyo, D. (2009): Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Oliver, C. (1992): "The Antecedents of Deinstitutionalization." Organization Studies, 13 (4), 563–588.
- Salomon, R., & Wu, Z. (2012): "Institutional distance and local isomorphism strategy." Journal of International Business Studies, 43 (4), 1–25.
- Sahlin-Andersson, K. (1996): "Imitating by Editing Success." In: B. Czarniawska & G. Sevon (eds.): Translating Organisational Change. Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 69–92.
- Strauss, A. (1978): "A Social World Perspective." In Denzin, N. (eds.): Studies in Symbolic Interaction. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, pp. 119–128.
- Suddaby, R. (2010): "Challenges for Institutional Theory." Journal of Management Inquiry, 19 (1), 14–20.
- Van Rooyen, C., Stewart, R., & de Wet, T. (2012): "The Impact of Microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review of the Evidence." World Development, 40 (11), 2249–2262.
- Yunus, M., Moingeon, B., & Lehmann-Ortega, L. (2010): "Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience." Long Range Planning, 43 (2–3), 308–325.