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Toke Bjerregaard

Co-existing institutional logics and agency among top-level public servants: A praxeological approach

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While institutional organization research to some extent has neglected the micro agency of organization members, parts of the strategy-as-practice research have tended to bracket off wider societal environments shaping the practices-in-use of top-level strategy practitioners.

This article attempts to address parts of this void. This study examines the agency exerted by top-level public servants through their everyday strategy and policy work in face of co-existing logics of public administration. The findings illustrate how their action strategies span from more passive strategies of coping with coexisting logics of administration to more skilled agency of combining logics aimed at enhancing their opportunity and action space.

The study suggests that the interplay between co-existing institutional logics, action strategies and the practical skills of top-level public servants provides the basis for both coping and more proactive strategies in pluralistic public administrations. Findings illustrate the role of public servants' practical sense of realizable opportunities that inform such strategies of handling co-existing institutional logics. Implications for institutional studies of organizations are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management & Organization
Volume17
Issue2
Pages (from-to)194-209
Number of pages16
ISSN1833-3672
Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • agency, ethnography, public administration, strategy work

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