Hybridization as an Organizational Response to Widespread Institutional Logics: A Case Study of a Commercial and Open Source Software Community

Ann Westenholz

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This paper builds on a long tradition in the Scandinavian countries for using empirical case studies to analyse the way in which organizations respond to different widespread institutional logics. The paper proposes five organizational responses: resistance to new logics; replacement of an old logic for a new one; co-existence of old and new logics; competition between old and new logics; and finally, hybridization of old and new logics. Following a historical account of how a commercial and open source community has developed, the paper goes on to analyse why this organization responds in a hybridizing way to two widespread institutional logics within software development (i.e. the institutional logic of technology and the institutional logic of capitalism). In the case, the analysis identifies the combination of four elements as influential on the hybridizing process: 1) external inspiration – no external pressures or shocks; 2) organizational members as institutional audience; 3) frames following the logic of appropriateness – not only the logic of consequentiality; and 4) organizational institutional leadership defining hybrid frames. By way of conclusion, the paper discusses the need to transgress macro/structure and micro/actor dimensions, and suggests insights to be gained by combining institutional theory with the Chicago School‟s interactionist‟s approach and performance theory.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventABC Network 2011: Organizing Institutions: Studying the Emergence of New Practices - Boston, United States
Duration: 30 Sept 20111 Oct 2011


WorkshopABC Network 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States

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