Institutional Awareness: Examining Agency in Institutional Theory

Carina Ahlvik, Eva Boxenbaum

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Drawing on dual-process theory and mindfulness research this article sets out to shed light on the conditions that need to be met to create “a reflexive shift in consciousness” argued to be a key foundational mechanism for agency in institutional theory. Although past research has identified different exogenous triggers to evoke shifts in consciousness, such as conflicting logics or socio-economic shocks, we argue that a reflexive shift in consciousness can also be cultivated by developing mindfulness. We develop a typology to depict conditions that need to be met to enable a reflexive shift in consciousness to emerge and argue for how the varying levels of mindfulness in the form of internal and external awareness may manifest as distinct responses to the institutional environment the actor is embedded in.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFifth European Theory development Workshop. ETDW 2016 - Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 30 Jun 20161 Jul 2016
Conference number: 5


ConferenceFifth European Theory development Workshop. ETDW 2016
LocationHanken School of Economics
Internet address


  • Agency
  • Awareness
  • Cognition
  • Dual-process theory
  • Institutional awareness
  • Mindfulness

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