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Institutional Organizational Analysis - Change and Transformation - 5 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 18 September 2023 at 09:00 to Friday 22 September 2023 at 17:00

Registration Deadline

Friday 25 August 2023 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 ECTS

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

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

Professor Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen
Department of Organization, CBS
Professor Eva Boxenbaum
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 25 August 2023. 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. 18 (9-17)
Classic and new institutional theory
Empirical findings on diffusion and decoupling
Project discussions
Sept. 19 (9-17, possibly dinner)
Institutional fields and transformations 
Institutional change and multiple institutional logics
Project discussions
Sept. 20 (9-17)
Translation of ideas 
Institutional work and entrepreneurship
Project discussions
Sept. 21 (9-17)
Methods in institutional analyses
Applying institutional theory in practice
Project discussions
Sept. 22 (9-14)
External perspectives on institutional theory
New directions in organizational institutional analysis

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 their own projects.

Course Literature (incomplete)
Alvesson, M., & Spicer, A. (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 G. Kruecken, C. Mazza,  R. E. Meyer, & P. Walgenbach (Eds.): New Themes in Institutional Analysis: 51-76. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Boxenbaum & Jonsson (2017). Isomorphism, diffusion and decoupling: concept evolution and theoretical challenges. Greenwood, R., Oliver, C.,
Lawrence, T.B., & Meyer, R. E. (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (2nd ed.): 77-101. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. 
Boxenbaum & Strandgaard (2009). Scandinavian institutionalism – a case of institutional work. In T. Lawrence, R. Suddaby, & B. Leca (Eds.), Institutional Work: Actors and Agency in Institutional Studies of Organizations: 178-204. Cambridge University Press. 
Bromley & Powell (2012). From smoke and mirrors to walking the talk: Decoupling in the contemporary world. Academy of Management Annals, 6, 483–530. 
Cappelen & Strandgaard Pedersen (2021). Inventing culinary heritage through strategic historical ambiguity’. Organization Studies, 42(2), 223–243.
Cartel, Boxenbaum & Aggeri (2019). Just for fun! How experimental spaces stimulate innovation in institutionalized fields. Organization Studies, 40(1), 65-92.
Czarniawska & Joerges (1996). Travel of ideas. In B. Czarniawska & G. Sevon (Eds.), Translating Organizational Change: 13-47. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter
DiMaggio & Powell (1983). The Iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. Chapter 3 in
W. W. Powell, & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.). The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. University of Chicago Press.
Drori (2019). ‘Hasn’t institutional theory always been critical?!’ Organization Theory, 1(1),
Friedland & Alford (1991). Bringing society back in: Symbols, practices and institutional contradictions. Chapter 10 in W. W. Powell, & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.). The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. University of Chicago Press.
Greenwood, Oliver, Lawrence & Meyer (2017). Introduction: Into the fourth decade. In authors (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, 2nd ed.: 1-23. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Jancsary, Meyer, Höllerer & Barberio (2017). Toward a structural model of organizational-level institutional pluralism and logic interconnectedness. Organization Science, 28(6), 1150-1167. 
Lampel & Meyer (2008). ’Field-configuring events as structuring mechanisms: How conferences, ceremonies, and trade shows constitute new technologies, industries, and markets’. Journal of Management Studies, 45(6): 1025-1035.
Lawrence & Suddaby (2006). ’Institutions and institutional work.’ In S. R. Clegg, C. Hardy, W. R. Nord, & T. B. Lawrence (Eds.), SAGE Handbook of Organization Studies, 2nd ed.: 215-254. London, UK: Sage.  
Lawrence, Leca & Zilber (2013). Institutional work: Current research, new directions and overlooked issues. Organization Studies, 34(8), 1023-1033. 
Mazza & Strandgaard Pedersen (2017). Organizational adaptation and inverse trajectories: Two cities and their film festivals. In G. Kruecken, C.
Mazza, R. E. Meyer, & P. Walgenbach (Eds.), New Themes in Institutional Analysis: 282-304. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 
Meyer & Rowan (1991 [1977]). Institutional organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. Chapter 2 in W. W. Powell, & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.). The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. University of Chicago Press. 
Meyer (2008). New sociology of knowledge: Historical legacy and current strands. In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, R. Suddaby, & K. Sahlin (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism: 519-538. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Meyer, R. (2019). ’A processual view on institutions. A note from a phenomenological institutional perspective’. In T. Reay, T. B. Zilber, A.
Langley & H. Tsoukas (Eds.), Institutions and Organizations: A Process View. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 
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 
W. W. Powell, & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.). The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. University of Chicago Press.
Reay, Goodrick, Waldorff, & Casebeer (2017). ‘Getting leopards to change their spots: Co-creating a new professional role identity.’ Academy of Management Journal, 60 (3), 1043-1070.
Jakob Sadeh & Zilber (2019). ’Bringing “together”: Emotions and power in organizational responses to institutional complexity. Academy of Management Journal, 62(5): 1413-1443. 
Strandgaard & Dobbin (2006). In search of identity and legitimation: Bridging organizational culture and neoinstitutionalism. American Behavioral Scientist, 49(7), 897-907. 
Reay, Goodrick, Waldorff, & Casebeer (2017). ‘Getting leopards to change their spots: Co-creating a new professional role identity.’ Academy of Management Journal, 60 (3), 1043-1070.
Waldorff & Madsen (2022). ’Translating to maintain existing practices: Micro-tactics in the implementation of a new management concept’. Organization Studies. 
Waldorff, Reay & Goodrick (2013). A tale of two countries: How different constellations of logics impact action. In M. Lounsbury, & E. Boxenbaum (Eds.), Institutional Logics in Action. Research in the Sociology of
Organizations, 39A, 99-129. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.
Willmott, H. (2015). ‘Why institutional theory cannot be critical?’ Journal of Management Inquiry, 24(1):105-111.
Wooten & Hoffman (2017).’Organizational fields: Past, present and future’ In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, T. B. Lawrence, & R. E. Meyer (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, 2nd ed.: 55-74. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Zilber (2020). The methodology/theory interface: Ethnography and the microfoundations of institutions. Organization Theory, 1(2), 1-27. 
Zilber (2014). Beyond a single organization: Challenges and opportunities in doing field level ethnography. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 3(1), 96-113. 

Select payment methods:
CBS students: Choose CBS PhD students and the course fee will be deducted from your PhD budget.
Students from other Danish universities: Choose 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 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.

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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