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Toke Bjerregaard

Studying institutional work in organizations: Uses and implications of ethnographic methodologies

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Purpose – In order to provide new and other directions to institutional studies in organization theory,
Lawrence and Suddaby forward the notion of institutional work of actors aimed at maintaining,
changing and disrupting institutions. The purpose of this paper is to further theory and method in
studying the institutional work of people in organizations.
Design/methodology/approach – Methodological insights from the ways in which theories of
human agency in institutional contexts have co-evolved with field study methodologies are analyzed in
related fields of research, particularly in sociology and anthropology.
Findings – The ways have been analyzed in which social theories of human agency in institutional
contexts and field methodology have co-evolved in an inter-disciplinary perspective. The analysis
shows how field methodologies may provide inspirations to theory and method in studying institutional
Research limitations/implications – The findings suggest that institutional organization
research may prosper by grounding the study of institutional work on ethnographic methodologies.
Originality/value – This paper contributes methodological inspirations to studying organizational
actors’ work with accomplishing change and stability, which constitutes a comparatively
underexplored line of inquiry in organizational institutionalism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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