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Refusing, connecting and playing off conflicting institutional demands. A longitudinal study on the organizational handling of the end of nuclear power, climate protection, and the energy turnaround in Germany.

Author: Bohn, S. & Walgenbach, P.
Published in: G. Krücken, C. Mazza, R.E. Meyer & P. Walgenbach (Eds.), New Themes in Institutional Analysis: Topics and Issues from European Research (pp. 162-193). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Year: 2018
Type: Book contributions and chapters

Organizations are embedded in a world of plurality, a world of institutional complexity (Greenwood, Raynard, Kodeih, Micelotta, & Lounsbury, 2011). They are surrounded by diverse and partly contradictory institutional demands that originate from various stakeholders with different, sometimes conflicting interests and expectations (Kraatz & Block, 2008; J. W. Meyer & Rowan, 1977). Handling complexity is a difficult task for organizations. Neoinstitutionalists argue that organizations in general need to follow institutional demands to gain or maintain legitimacy (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983). However, in situations characterized by conflicting institutional demands, this is not an easy task (Scherer, Palazzo, & Seidl, 2013). Satisfying one demand may require defying others, or satisfying conflicting demands implies that inconsistencies and conflicts between institutional demands are imposed on the organization that may lead to intra-organizational tensions (Battilana & Dorado, 2010; Greenwood et al., 2011; Margolis & Walsh, 2003; J. W. Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Pache & Santos, 2010).

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