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Look What's Back! Institutional Complexity, Reversibility and the Knotting of Logics

Journal article
Authors Elizabeth Goodrick
Trish Reay
Giuseppe Delmestri
Davide Nicolini
Kajsa Lindberg
Petra Adolfsson
Published in British Journal of Management
Volume 27
Issue 2
Pages 228-248
ISSN 1045-3172
Publication year 2016
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Pages 228-248
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12156
Keywords institutional logics, complexity, organization, pharmacy, comparative case study
Subject categories Economics and Business

Abstract

Through a comparative historical study of community pharmacy in the UK, Italy, Sweden and the USA, the authors examine what happens to institutional arrangements designed to resolve ongoing conflicts between institutional logics over extended periods of time. It is found that institutional arrangements can reflect the heterogeneity of multiple logics without resulting in hybridization or dominance. Because logics remain active, similar conflicts can reappear multiple times. It is found that the durability of the configurations of competing logics reflects the characteristics of the polities in which fields are embedded. The dominance of any societal institutional order leads to more stable field-level arrangements. The authors suggest that the metaphor of institutional knots and the related image of institutional knotting are useful to capture aspects of this dynamic and to foreground the discursive and material work that allows multiple logics to coexist in local arrangements with variable durability.

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