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The role of organisational habitus in organisational responses to institutional complexities

The role of organisational habitus in organisational responses to institutional complexities
The role of organisational habitus in organisational responses to institutional complexities
The aim of this doctoral study is to gain insight into the role of organisational habitus in organisational responses to institutional complexities from a process relational perspective. The study seeks for a better understanding of organisations’ experience of, and subsequent responses to institutional complexities, by undertaking multi-level examination, focusing on the inter-institutional societal, field level and organisational level dynamics of the process, and placing emphasis on the role of distinct characteristics of organisations stemming from their historical origins (habitus).

Relying on constructivist paradigm, I employed cross-cultural comparative study by comparing data derived from six different universities, situated in different socio-political fields, namely, Turkish, Canadian and UK contexts, aiming to delineate variations in field level institutional complexities and subsequent response patterns. The findings of this study are based on 113 interviews, two meeting observations and one focus group, as well as macro and meso level documentary data.

Comparing the six universities situated in different contexts revealed that when complexities were experienced as a challenge or ‘conflicting’, universities were more likely to compartmentalize their practices by separation of formal structures and external parts from their internal organisational core. However, when complexities caused by the demands of market logic were perceived as ‘compatible’ with their own organisational resources, dispositions and strategic focus, identifying the demands of newly coming institutional logics was seen as an opportunity for status extension, and to distinguish themselves from their rivals. These universities were more likely to assimilate new, and augment
existing practices aligned with the demands of market logic, or to enact with ‘acquisition’ strategy. Moreover, by experiencing the demands of market logic as ‘complementary’, and identifying institutional complexities as an opportunity for ‘status reconfiguration’, such universities were more likely to develop synthesizing strategy by combining and layering practices taken from market logic with their core identity and practices.

The contributions of this research are multiple: First, employing cross-comparative research design, my study advances the research on institutional complexity by linking inter-institutional societal, field level and organisational level dynamics, demonstrating the recursive relationship between these dynamics to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of organisational responses. By undertaking multi-level examination of the dynamics of organisational responses through the concept of habitus, which is a powerful concept in linking meso to macro level analysis reciprocally, I provide deep insights in understanding organisational response strategies to institutional pressures in a more systematic way. Second, linking intra-organisational and macro level analysis by unpacking the mechanisms through which managerial interpretations of institutional complexity are influenced by wider social beliefs could contribute to institutional logics and behavioural theory in the firm literature. Third, by showing variations in field level institutional complexities in the same fields, situated in different national contexts, and their organisational level implications, this study complements recent works which suggest co-existence of institutional logics produces both competitive and cooperative tensions. Finally, this study provides a number of research implications for academics and practical insights for practitioners, including university managers and policy makers.
University of Southampton
Yavuz, Cagla
d67221bd-5e7f-41f1-96a2-709714fab653
Yavuz, Cagla
d67221bd-5e7f-41f1-96a2-709714fab653
Karatas-Ozkan, Mine
f5b6c260-f6d4-429a-873a-53bea7ffa9a9

Yavuz, Cagla (2017) The role of organisational habitus in organisational responses to institutional complexities. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 380pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The aim of this doctoral study is to gain insight into the role of organisational habitus in organisational responses to institutional complexities from a process relational perspective. The study seeks for a better understanding of organisations’ experience of, and subsequent responses to institutional complexities, by undertaking multi-level examination, focusing on the inter-institutional societal, field level and organisational level dynamics of the process, and placing emphasis on the role of distinct characteristics of organisations stemming from their historical origins (habitus).

Relying on constructivist paradigm, I employed cross-cultural comparative study by comparing data derived from six different universities, situated in different socio-political fields, namely, Turkish, Canadian and UK contexts, aiming to delineate variations in field level institutional complexities and subsequent response patterns. The findings of this study are based on 113 interviews, two meeting observations and one focus group, as well as macro and meso level documentary data.

Comparing the six universities situated in different contexts revealed that when complexities were experienced as a challenge or ‘conflicting’, universities were more likely to compartmentalize their practices by separation of formal structures and external parts from their internal organisational core. However, when complexities caused by the demands of market logic were perceived as ‘compatible’ with their own organisational resources, dispositions and strategic focus, identifying the demands of newly coming institutional logics was seen as an opportunity for status extension, and to distinguish themselves from their rivals. These universities were more likely to assimilate new, and augment
existing practices aligned with the demands of market logic, or to enact with ‘acquisition’ strategy. Moreover, by experiencing the demands of market logic as ‘complementary’, and identifying institutional complexities as an opportunity for ‘status reconfiguration’, such universities were more likely to develop synthesizing strategy by combining and layering practices taken from market logic with their core identity and practices.

The contributions of this research are multiple: First, employing cross-comparative research design, my study advances the research on institutional complexity by linking inter-institutional societal, field level and organisational level dynamics, demonstrating the recursive relationship between these dynamics to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of organisational responses. By undertaking multi-level examination of the dynamics of organisational responses through the concept of habitus, which is a powerful concept in linking meso to macro level analysis reciprocally, I provide deep insights in understanding organisational response strategies to institutional pressures in a more systematic way. Second, linking intra-organisational and macro level analysis by unpacking the mechanisms through which managerial interpretations of institutional complexity are influenced by wider social beliefs could contribute to institutional logics and behavioural theory in the firm literature. Third, by showing variations in field level institutional complexities in the same fields, situated in different national contexts, and their organisational level implications, this study complements recent works which suggest co-existence of institutional logics produces both competitive and cooperative tensions. Finally, this study provides a number of research implications for academics and practical insights for practitioners, including university managers and policy makers.

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Published date: June 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413890
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413890
PURE UUID: 3b93ad12-7beb-4af8-953a-3fea836e6a9d
ORCID for Mine Karatas-Ozkan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9199-4156

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Sep 2017 16:30
Last modified: 30 Jun 2020 04:01

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