This paper examines the role of intraorganizational group and political processes in shaping the institutional forms that emerge in heterogeneous fields. We argue that while the specific institutional oppositions of heterogeneous fields compel organizational changes, the institutional forms that emerge in such fields cannot easily be predicted. They are effects of indeterminate social processes of regularizations and breakings of co-existing logics. We illuminate the under-explored role of group strategies in moderating organizational response to conflicts in institutional prescriptions. Moreover, we argue that the boundary between practices in which organizational institutions change and are maintained are blurred. Hence, recruitment practices, which often are understood as carrying an institutional logic into an organization by being adopted in response to a new demand, may lead to the stabilization and maintenance of its institutional opposite. The reported findings are based on an ethnographic field study of the institutional change processes that occurred in a South Korean credit card company in the aftermath of the Asian economic crisis in 1997 during the IMF intervention. The development of contradictory logics in the Korean field gave, in some companies, rise to social struggles for defining the direction and aim of the institutional changes.
HRM; Strategy; Macro-institutional forces; Group processes; Institutional change
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American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting, 2012