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Institutional Organizational Analysis - Change and Transformation - 5+1 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 16 September 2024 at 13:00 to Friday 20 September 2024 at 14:00

Registration Deadline

Monday 5 August 2024 at 23:55


Kilen - room KL4.74 (fourth floor), Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg Kilen - room KL4.74 (fourth floor)
Kilevej 14A
2000 Frederiksberg

Institutional Organizational Analysis - Change and Transformation - 5+1 ECTS

Course coordinators: Jesper Strandgaard and Eva Boxenbaum, Department of Organization (IOA)


Professor Tammar Zilber
Department of Organization, CBS & Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Professor Renate Meyer
Department of Organization, CBS & WU Vienna

Professor Eva Boxenbaum
Department of Organization, CBS

Professor Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen
Department of Organization, CBS


The PhD student must be working on a research project involving the institutional sociological approach or – if this is not the case – be willing to explore if the approach could be applied. Naturally, the idea is not to push students into becoming institutional theorists, but to make them reflect upon their projects from this theoretical perspective. 
The PhD student is required to present a five-pages (maximum) written presentation in which s/he relates the curriculum literature in the course to his/ her project. The presentation must include specific references to the literature applied. Deadline for submission of course paper is 23 August 2024. This written presentation will be shared with other students and students will present their project in the course and will receive feedback on it.  
The student presentation should provide material for discussion in minor groups during the course, and the student must be willing to participate in discussions of other presentations. 
It is a precondition for receiving the course diploma that the student attends the entire course. 

The goal of the course is to give participants a broad overview of organizational institutionalism including its development over time and its application to different empirical phenomena. Students will also develop their capacity to use the approach in their own empirical work. 
Course content 

The course focuses on the school within institutional theory that is rooted in sociology. We trace the development of the theory from its conception to its most recent developments and applications in organizational analysis. We explore historical change and transformations in the meaning of organizational structures and practices and analyze how institutions are constructed and diffused; how institutional elements are incorporated into and translated in organizations as well as how institutional change and institutional entrepreneurship influence specific organizational fields.
We discuss diverse methodological approaches to the study of institutionalization processes – macro- as well as micro approaches – and explore the applicability of institutional theory and methods to the empirical projects of course participants. 
Teaching style 

Lectures with workshops, dialogues and student discussions. 
Lecture plan 

Sept. 16 (13-17) 
Classic and new institutional theory 
Empirical findings on diffusion and decoupling 
Sept. 17 (9-17, possibly dinner) 
Institutional fields and transformations  
Institutional change and multiple institutional logics 
Project discussions 
Sept. 18 (9-17) 
Translation of ideas  
Institutional work and entrepreneurship 
Project discussions 
Sept. 19 (9-17) 
Methods in institutional analyses 
Critiquing organizational institutional analysis 
Project discussions 
Sept. 20 (9-14) 
Using institutional theory in organizational practice 
Wrap-up and evaluations  
Optional add-on: Oct. 7 (13-16) 
Project discussions (online) 
Learning objectives 

Participants get insights into the historical development of organizational institutionalism and into the most recent approaches to organizational stability, change and transformation. The participants also learn how to use the theory in empirical work, especially in their own projects.  


Course Literature (preliminary)


Alvesson & Spicer (2019). ‘Neo-institutional theory and organization studies: A mid-life crisis?’ Organization Studies, 40(2), 199-218.

Battilana, Leca & Boxenbaum (2009). ‘How actors change institutions: Toward a theory of institutional entrepreneurship’. Academy of Management Annals, 3, 65-107.

Berg Johansen & Waldorff (2017). ‘What are institutional logics - and where is the perspective taking us?’ In Kruecken, Mazza, Meyer, & Walgenbach (Eds.): New Themes in Institutional Analysis: 51-76.

Boxenbaum & Jonsson (2017). ‘Isomorphism, diffusion and decoupling: concept evolution and theoretical challenges’. In Greenwood, Oliver, Lawrence, & Meyer (Eds.), The Sage

Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, 2nd ed.: 79-104. 

Brandtner, Powell, & Horvath (2023). ‘From iron cage to glass house: Repurposing of bureaucratic management and the turn to openness’. Organization Studies,10.1177/01708406231200727. 

Cappelen & Strandgaard Pedersen (2021). Hijacked by hope: Mission drift and identity search in a non-profit organization. Revista de Administração de Empresas, 61, 1-15.

Czarniawska & Joerges (1996). ‘Travel of ideas’. In Czarniawska & Sevon (Eds.), Translating Organizational Change: 13-47. 

DiMaggio & Powell (1983). ‘The Iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields’ (chapter 3 in Powell & DiMaggio, 1991)

Drori (2019). ‘Hasn’t institutional theory always been critical?!’ Organization Theory, 1(1), doi 2631787719887982

Friedland & Alford (1991). ‘Bringing society back in: Symbols, practices and institutional contradictions’ (chapter 10 in Powell & DiMaggio, 1991).

Grafström, Jonsson & Klintman (2023). ‘Embracing the academic–practice gap: Knowledge collaboration and the role of institutional knotting’. Management Learning, pp.1-24. 

Gümüsay & Amis (2020). ‘Engaging with grand challenges: An institutional logics perspective.’ Organization Theory, 1(3).

Jancsary, Meyer, Höllerer, & Boxenbaum (2018). ‘Institutions as multimodal accomplishments: Towards the analysis of visual registers’. In: Research in the Sociology of Organizations (Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions) 54A, 87-117. 

Jancsary, Meyer, Höllerer & Barberio (2017). ‘Toward a structural model of organizational-level institutional pluralism and logic interconnectedness’.

Organization Science, 28(6), 1150-1167. 

Lawrence, Leca & Zilber (2013). ’Institutional work: Current research, new directions and overlooked issues’. Organization Studies, 34(8), 1023-1033. 

Lawrence & Suddaby (2006). ’Institutions and institutional work.’ In Clegg, Hardy, Nord, & Lawrence (Eds.), SAGE Handbook of Organization Studies, 2nd ed.: 215-254. 

Leibel, Hallett & Bechky (2018). ‘Meaning at the source: The dynamics of field formation in institutional research’. Academy of Management Annals, 12(1), 154-177. 

Leixnering, Meyer & Doralt (2022). ’The past as prologue: Purpose dynamics in the history of the aktiengesellschaft’. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 78, 97-120. 

Mazza & Strandgaard Pedersen (2017). ’Organizational adaptation and inverse trajectories: Two cities and their film festivals’. In Kruecken, Mazza, Meyer, & Walgenbach (Eds.), New Themes in Institutional Analysis: 282-304. 

Meyer, J. & Rowan (1977). ‘Institutional organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony’ (chapter 2 in Powell & DiMaggio, 1991) 

Meyer, R. (2008). ‘New sociology of knowledge: Historical legacy and current strands’ In Greenwood, Oliver, Suddaby, & Sahlin (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism: 519-538. 

Munir (2019). ‘Challenging institutional theory’s critical credentials’. Organization Theory, 1(1), doi 2631787719887975. 

Powell (1991). ‘Expanding the scope of institutional analyses’ (chapter 8 in Powell & DiMaggio, 1991).

Røvik (2016). ‘Knowledge transfer as translation: Review and elements of an instrumental theory’. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18, 290-310. 

Strang & Meyer, J. (1993). Institutional conditions for diffusion. Theory and Society, 22(4), 487–511.

Wedlin & Sahlin (2017). ’The imitation and translation of management ideas’. In The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (2nd ed.): 102-127. 

Wooten & Hoffman (2017).’Organizational fields: Past, present and future’ In The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, 2nd ed.: 55-74. 

Wæraas & Nielsen (2016). ‘Translation theory “translated”: Three perspectives on translation in organizational research.’ International Journal of Management Reviews, 18, 236–270.

Zilber (2020). ‘The methodology/theory interface: Ethnography and the microfoundations of institutions’. Organization Theory, 1(2), 1-27. 

Zilber (2023). ’Narrating institutional logics into effect: Coherence across cognitive, political, and emotional elements.’ Administrative Science Quarterly, 00018392231217712.

Registration deadline and conditions

The registration deadline is 4 August 2024. If you want to cancel your registration on the course it should be done prior to this mentioned date. By this date we determine whether we have enough registrations to run the course, or who should be offered a seat if we have received too many registrations.

If there are more seats available on the course we leave the registration open by setting a new regsitration deadline in order to fill remaining seats. Once you have received our acceptance/welcome letter to join the course, your registration is binding and we do not refund your course fee. The binding registration date will be the registration deadline mentioned above.

Payment methods
Make sure you choose the correct method of payment upon finalizing your registration:
CBS students:
Choose payment method CBS PhD students and the course fee will be deducted from your PhD course budget.
Students from other Danish universities: 
Choose payment method Danish Electronic Invoice (EAN). Fill in your EAN number, attention and possible purchase (project) order number.
Do you not pay by EAN number please choose Invoice to pay via electronic bank payment (+71). 
Students from foreign universities:
Choose payment method Payment Card. Are you not able to pay by credit card please choose Invoice International to pay via bank transfer. 

Please note that your registration is binding after the registration deadline.

Event Location

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Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475