Field Or Fields? Building The Scaffolding For Cumulation Of Research On Institutional Fields

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Academy of Management Annals, 2017, 2017 (11)
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The concept of an institutional field is one of the cornerstones of institutional theory, and yet the concept has been stretched both theoretically and empirically, making consolidation of findings across multiple studies more difficult. In this article, we review the literature and analyze empirical studies of institutional fields to build scaffolding for the cumulation of research on institutional fields. We classify two types of fields: exchange and issue fields, and describe the populations that inhabit them. Subsequently, we develop a typology of field conditions based on two dimensions: the extent of elaboration of institutional infrastructure and the extent to which there is an agreed upon prioritization of logics. We discuss the implications of field types and conditions for isomorphism, agency, and field change, identifying six pathways of field change and the factors affecting them. We outline a research agenda based on our analysis highlighting the need for consolidation of field studies and identify several outstanding issues that are in need of further research.
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