Explaining stability and change: The rise and fall of logics in pluralistic fields

  • van Gestel N
  • Hillebrand B
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Abstract

Based on an in-depth, longitudinal case study involving the public employment services in the Netherlands, we provide a novel conceptual imagery of how pluralistic fields may evolve over time. Our study shows how multiple institutional logics remain in play after a dominant logic is settled in an organizational field. We uncover several factors that explain the process of temporary stability and change and focus especially on two factors - negative choice and deliberate ambiguity - that explain ongoing change. These factors solve the struggle between competing logics, but simultaneously sow the seeds for further subsequent change. This study contributes to the institutional logics perspective beyond competing logics to the study of how fields with plural logics evolve. © The Author(s) 2011.

Author-supplied keywords

  • case study research
  • institutional logics
  • organizational field evolution

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Authors

  • Nicolette van Gestel

  • Bas Hillebrand

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