Recoupling Work Beyond COSO: A Longitudinal Case Study of Enterprise-wide Risk Management

Fatma Jemaa*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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The present study examines how organizational designers of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) form an ensemble of structures, routines, and tools, consistent with the field-level ideal type. This longitudinal case study is theoretically informed by literature on decoupling and recoupling to account for these actors' efforts. The case studied demonstrates that recoupling actors draw on three modes of action—discursive, material, and relational—to address the two forms of decoupling identified by Bromley and Powell [2012. From smoke and mirrors to walking the talk: Decoupling in the contemporary world. The Academy of Management Annals, 1(6), 483–530]: policy–practice and means–ends. This study contributes to current research in three ways. First, it unpacks risk experts' efforts to address different forms of decoupling, reinvigorating debates on recoupling. Second, it shows that ideal-typical ERM is shaped by a succession of external templates. Third, it draws attention to the preeminent role of double-embedded actors who link successive templates to enable the formation of an organizational ERM that is consistent with the field-level ideal type. Together, these findings contrast with those of previous studies that argued that ERM working ensembles are inexorably inconsistent with the ideal type.
TidsskriftAccounting, Organizations and Society
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 6 May 2022.


  • Enterprise risk management
  • Decoupling
  • Recoupling work
  • Modes of action
  • Double embeddedness