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Translating Institutional Logics: When the Media Logic Meets Professions

Journal article
Authors Josef Pallas
Magnus Fredriksson
Linda Wedlin
Published in Organization Studies
Volume 37
Issue 11
Pages 1661-1684
ISSN 0170-8406
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 1661-1684
Language en
Keywords institutional logic, media logic, professions, public sector, translation
Subject categories Public Administration Studies, Media and Communications


This article presents results from a case study of media activities in a Swedish governmental agency where we illustrate a) how the media logic is translated and become embedded in the studied agency, and b) how different professional groups inside the organization shape the translation process. Theoretically we do this by re-visiting the notion of translation. Translation theory focuses on the local enactment and embeddedness of institutional models, ideals and practices. Institutional logics literature, on the other hand, focuses on the creation and flow of field-level meaning systems. By combining these two theoretical perspectives we are able to form a framework for understanding the local embeddedness and enactment of field-level institutional logics. The result of our study suggests that institutional logics – once they become introduced in a given context – consist of four elements that are interpreted and enacted differently inside organizations. We identify three local, profession-based value systems that shape the translation of the media logics, and we use this finding to theorize the role of professional value systems in shaping local translation processes.

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