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Stressed and shattered: A topic modeling study about field-level change and consequences of high degree complexity in the German energy market.

Author: Bohn, S., Kunze, M., & Günther, M.
Published in: Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018(1)
Year: 2018
Type: Academic articles

Whereas most studies on institutional logics and complexity focus on single conflicts in static environments, our study provides a more dynamic and processual understanding, allowing to explore institutional fields with an increasing range of logics and conflicts between them. To capture multiple logics and to analyze their relationship, we applied a longitudinal mixed-methods approach by combining interpretative qualitative methods with big data research strategies. Drawing on the case of Germany’s energy market, our study identifies a variety of rising conflicts between seven institutional logics, indicating a situation of escalating complexity during the German Energiewende. Additionally, our findings show a link between the degree of complexity and ensuing organizational responses, indicating a “tipping point” of complexity after which defy and dismiss strategies against new or conflicting demands became unfeasible and more far-reaching responses–in our case spinning-off, market exit, and radical restructuring–remained as the last resort. Our findings provide theoretical and methodological insights for situations of institutional complexity and organizational responses.

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