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Toke Bjerregaard

Institutional change on the frontlines: A comparative ethnography of divergent responses to institutional demands

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Institutional change on the frontlines : A comparative ethnography of divergent responses to institutional demands. / Bjerregaard, Toke.

I: Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Bind 6, Nr. 1, 2011, s. 26-45.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Bjerregaard, Toke. / Institutional change on the frontlines : A comparative ethnography of divergent responses to institutional demands. I: Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management. 2011 ; Bind 6, Nr. 1. s. 26-45.

Bibtex

@article{03da4860f09311df9bfe000ea68e967b,
title = "Institutional change on the frontlines: A comparative ethnography of divergent responses to institutional demands",
abstract = "Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to shed light on how actors within, on the surface, similar organizations cope and work with imposed institutional changes. Design methodology/approach – This research is based on an ethnographic field study addressing why, despite being exposed to the same institutional demands, organizational actors respond by developing diverging institutional orders of appropriate organizational conduct. This research examines how middle managers and frontline staff in two similar Danish social care organizations respond to demands to adopt a New Public Management (NPM)-based logic of individualized service delivery. Findings – The study shows how institutional diversity may underlie apparently similar organizational structures and responses. NPM-style modernization efforts partly converged with diverse professional motives and rationales around, on the surface, similar organizational changes. The findings illustrate how differential institutional orders are maintained by middle managers and frontline staff despite exposure to the same demands. Research limitations/implications – There are different limitations to this ethnographic field study due to the character of the methodology, the limited number of organizations, informants and time span covered. Attending to micro-level processes within organizations provides a rich understanding of how particular forms of organization and action emerge in response to institutional demands. This calls for more ethnographic research on how actors within organizations cope and work institutional change. Originality/value – Relatively little organizational research has addressed how individual actors at the lower levels of organizations cope and work with institutional changes using ethnographic methodology.",
keywords = "Denmark, Organizational change, Social care, Public administration, Ethnography, Employee behaviour",
author = "Toke Bjerregaard",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1108/17465641111129371",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "26--45",
journal = "Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management",
issn = "1746-5648",
publisher = "JAI Press",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Institutional change on the frontlines

T2 - A comparative ethnography of divergent responses to institutional demands

AU - Bjerregaard, Toke

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to shed light on how actors within, on the surface, similar organizations cope and work with imposed institutional changes. Design methodology/approach – This research is based on an ethnographic field study addressing why, despite being exposed to the same institutional demands, organizational actors respond by developing diverging institutional orders of appropriate organizational conduct. This research examines how middle managers and frontline staff in two similar Danish social care organizations respond to demands to adopt a New Public Management (NPM)-based logic of individualized service delivery. Findings – The study shows how institutional diversity may underlie apparently similar organizational structures and responses. NPM-style modernization efforts partly converged with diverse professional motives and rationales around, on the surface, similar organizational changes. The findings illustrate how differential institutional orders are maintained by middle managers and frontline staff despite exposure to the same demands. Research limitations/implications – There are different limitations to this ethnographic field study due to the character of the methodology, the limited number of organizations, informants and time span covered. Attending to micro-level processes within organizations provides a rich understanding of how particular forms of organization and action emerge in response to institutional demands. This calls for more ethnographic research on how actors within organizations cope and work institutional change. Originality/value – Relatively little organizational research has addressed how individual actors at the lower levels of organizations cope and work with institutional changes using ethnographic methodology.

AB - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to shed light on how actors within, on the surface, similar organizations cope and work with imposed institutional changes. Design methodology/approach – This research is based on an ethnographic field study addressing why, despite being exposed to the same institutional demands, organizational actors respond by developing diverging institutional orders of appropriate organizational conduct. This research examines how middle managers and frontline staff in two similar Danish social care organizations respond to demands to adopt a New Public Management (NPM)-based logic of individualized service delivery. Findings – The study shows how institutional diversity may underlie apparently similar organizational structures and responses. NPM-style modernization efforts partly converged with diverse professional motives and rationales around, on the surface, similar organizational changes. The findings illustrate how differential institutional orders are maintained by middle managers and frontline staff despite exposure to the same demands. Research limitations/implications – There are different limitations to this ethnographic field study due to the character of the methodology, the limited number of organizations, informants and time span covered. Attending to micro-level processes within organizations provides a rich understanding of how particular forms of organization and action emerge in response to institutional demands. This calls for more ethnographic research on how actors within organizations cope and work institutional change. Originality/value – Relatively little organizational research has addressed how individual actors at the lower levels of organizations cope and work with institutional changes using ethnographic methodology.

KW - Denmark

KW - Organizational change

KW - Social care

KW - Public administration

KW - Ethnography

KW - Employee behaviour

U2 - 10.1108/17465641111129371

DO - 10.1108/17465641111129371

M3 - Journal article

VL - 6

SP - 26

EP - 45

JO - Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

JF - Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

SN - 1746-5648

IS - 1

ER -