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Title: Interplay of intentions : an ethnography of institutional work within a hybrid organisation
Author: Bain, Carole Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 4434
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is the outcome of a study which takes institutional work (purposive action of individuals and groups aimed at creating, maintaining and transforming institutions) in hybrid organisations (those constituted by multiple, often competing institutional logics) as its focus. Through a longitudinal, embedded ethnography I explore the nature of institutional work undertaken to navigate institutional logics, who undertakes such work and how, and what happens if 'insiders' do not see the proffered logic as legitimate. Through long term participation in and observation of micro processes I identified two forms of institutional work. The first, termed identification work, is undertaken by senior managers to encourage other actors to identify with a proffered (commercial) logic but within the existing (social) mission. Taking place at an ideological level this work aims to ensure widespread acceptance of a system of ideas and ideals within the prevailing mission of the organisation, which would normatively appear contradictory or illegitimate. The second, termed practice work, is work undertaken to promote adoption of practices. Taking place at the level of policies, procedures, processes and systems this work aims to diffuse the system of collective ideas and ideals. I found that such work is undertaken cautiously over time, is mutually reinforcing and often overlapping. This theorisation problematizes current understandings of institutional work in that it highlights the 'messiness' of institutional work in hybrid contexts in ways that challenge the appropriateness of both the linear, binary presentation of logic change and the cleanly delineated forms of institutional work that dominate the literature. Furthermore understanding this complexity is a long-term endeavour, requiring observation of the actual processes of institutional work. The prevalent retrospective accounts of institutional work collected at a single point in time are likely inadequate for developing rich understandings of the role of 'everyday talk' and sense-making in hybrid organisations or the practicalities of change efforts. These conclusions will not comfort researchers of or managers in hybrid organisations with promises of easy solutions, but will hopefully contribute to a more nuanced account of organisational life which encourages fruitful future lines of thought and action.
Supervisor: Gardiner, Katherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available