Exploring the Institutionalization of Corporate Responsibility: A Formal Modeling Approach

Patrick Haack, Dennis Schoeneborn

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Organizations often adopt formal policies ceremonially, that is, neither substantively nor in alignment with actual practice. Prior research on practice adoption suggested that opacity stabi-lizes ceremonial adoption and impedes substantive adoption. This paper offers a dynamic view of adoption and re-examines the role of opacity in promoting substantive and widespread adoption. Using a Markov chain model, we demonstrate that if opacity is transitory and succeeded by transparency, opacity can actually promote substantive adoption within an industry. We substantiate the validity of our arguments by drawing on the prominent management practice of corporate responsibility. Our paper contributes to the development of a general theory of decoupling and institutionalization by examining the boundary conditions under which organizations adopt ceremonially or implement substantively a policy. We discuss the implications of our findings for institutional theory and research on corporate responsibility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Seventy-fifth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
    EditorsJohn Humphreys
    Number of pages5
    Place of PublicationBriar Cliff Manor, NY
    PublisherAcademy of Management
    Publication date2015
    Article number11508
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015: Opening Governance - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 75


    ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015
    Internet address
    SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings


    • Adoption
    • Corporate responsibility
    • Formal modeling

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