Silent Struggles: Framing a New Understanding of Business in Society

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Recent contributions to institutional theory have drawn attention to how actors address the cognitive and normative aspects of institutions through framing and show how actors struggle over meaning and positions in acrimonious framing contests. Yet we do not understand how actors negotiate meaning when overt contestation is not a viable option – for example when they must dampen conflict to foster collaboration. This paper presents a case study of a Danish pharmaceutical company that overcame framing contexts, gained local stakeholders’ support and became the orchestrator of collaborative arrangements aimed at improving diabetes care in Indonesia. Inductively following the framing process in real-time, the paper presents a model that explicates three moves through which frame alignment was constructed: interactively reconstructing the field, manufacturing a common understanding of actions, and manufacturing a common understanding of actions, and manufacturing a collective identity. Taken together, these three moves constitute mechanisms through which actors may recast meaning and positions to mitigate tensions and move a field toward a new consensus and effective collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 32nd EGOS Colloquium 2016: Organizing in the Shadow of Power - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 7 Jul 20169 Jul 2016
Conference number: 32


ConferenceThe 32nd EGOS Colloquium 2016
Internet address


  • Collaboration
  • Coporate responsibility
  • Framing
  • Frame alignment
  • Institutional change

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