Quotation Meyer, Renate, Höllerer, Markus. 2016. Laying a smoke screen: Ambiguity and neutralization as strategic responses to intra-institutional complexity. Strategic Organization 14 (4), 373-406.


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Abstract

Our research contributes to knowledge on strategic organizational responses by addressing a specific type of institutional complexity that has, to date, been rather neglected in scholarly inquiry: conflicting institutional demands that arise within the same institutional order. We suggest referring to such type of complexity as “intra-institutional”—as opposed to “inter-institutional.” Empirically, we examine the consecutive spread of two management concepts—shareholder value and corporate social responsibility—among Austrian listed corporations around the turn of the millennium. Our work presents evidence that in institutionally complex situations, the concepts used by organizations to respond to competing demands and belief systems are interlinked and coupled through multiwave diffusion. We point to the open, chameleon-like character of some concepts that makes them particularly attractive for discursive adoption in such situations and conclude that organizations regularly respond to institutional complexity by resorting to discursive neutralization techniques and strategically producing ambiguity.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Strategic Organization
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new MAN-A, STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title Laying a smoke screen: Ambiguity and neutralization as strategic responses to intra-institutional complexity
Volume 14
Number 4
Year 2016
Page from 373
Page to 406
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1476127016633335

Associations

People
Meyer, Renate (Details)
Höllerer, Markus (Details)
Organization
Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance FI (Details)
Urban Management and Governance (Meyer) (Details)
Institute for Public Management and Governance IN (Details)
Institute for Organization Studies IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5324 Organizational research (Details)
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