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Structure of the Argument 

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Survival of organizations

Organizations, which include in their formal structure social legitimated and rationalized elements, maximize their legitimacy, ensure the flow of resources and so improve their survivability.

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Conformity with Institutions and Institutional Decoupling: Solutions (5)

Conflict between Institutions and Institution and Efficiency

  1. Rejecting institutional requirements
  2. Rigid conformity with institutionalized prescriptions
  3. Cynical acknowledgement of structures being inconsistent with work requirements
  4. Promising reforms
  5. Decoupling of formal structure and activities
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Concept of Decoupling

Process of Decoupling

  • Goals are left ambiguous or vacuous
  • Categorical ends are substituted by technical ends
  • Data on technical performance are eliminated or redered invisible
  • Informal coordination
  • Important: the "appropriate" vocabulary
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Logic of confidence and good faith

  • General faith as long as institutions are formally complied with
  • "Consideration of face"
  • Tactics: avoidance, discretion, overlooking
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8.3 Institutional Isomorphism


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Organizational field

Organizations that constitute the relevant environment and therefore the frame of reference for the organizations to be investigated

e.g. competitors, key suppliers, resource and product consumers, regulatory agencies, organizations providing similar products or services)

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Institutional Isomorphism

Convergence processes between organizations within an institutional field

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Three Mechanisms of Isomorphism

1. Coercive isomorphism (by force): as a result of politically motivated pressure → Law

2. Mimetic isomorphism: as a result of responses to uncertainty and ambiguity → M-form

3. Normative isomorphism: as a result of professionalization → Incentive plans