Institutional Processes: Sources of Divergence

Collecting arguments from this and previous chapters, we see that, although institutional pressures under many conditions conduce toward isomorphic organization structure and practices, there are many ways in which “identical” institutional forces can result not in convergent, but divergent outcomes. Among the mechanisms and pro- cesses discussed, consider the following:

  • Varying carriers whose characteristics or mode of transmission alters the message
  • Varying translations of institutional rules
  • Misunderstandings or errors in the application of rules
  • Varying exposure or susceptibility to institutional rules
  • Varying attributes or relational connections that affect knowl- edge of or response to institutional pressures
  • Adaptations or innovations by users adopting institutional forms
  • Competing models being combined into varying hybrid forms
  • Strategic responses by individual organizations to institutional pressures
  • Strategic responses by networks or associations of organizations

Given the variety and prevalence of these factors, it would appear that if more nuanced institutional arguments are used, inves- tigators may discover that it is easier to account for divergence than convergence of response by organizations to “common” institutional pressures.

Source: Scott Richard (2013), Institutions and Organizations: Ideas, Interests, and Identities, SAGE Publications, Inc; Fourth edition.

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