This study investigates the institutional work that underlies the diffusion of responsible investment (RI) and enhances its adaptation to local settings. Building on institutional theory and actor–network theory, we advance the concept of contextualization work to describe the institutional work that sustains RI glocalization. Empirical data from two case studies highlight how entrepreneurial actors imported the notion of RI from the US to France and Québec. Our findings uncover three types of contextualization work—filtering, repurposing, and coupling—that sustain RI glocalization, and show how actors employed them in both settings to overcome the lack of technical, cultural, or political fit between the imported practice and their local context. Our results explain how divergent glocalized versions of RI are developed and adapted through contextualization work. Last, we discuss how our repertoire of contextualization work can account for local forms of a global concept and the uneven pattern of its diffusion.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2013, Vol 115, Issue 4, p. 707-721