Impact Measurement as Institutional Work: Building Bridges between Individuals, Organizations, and Society

Miranda Pauline Steen Thomsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of the study is to explore how multilevel institutional work and impact measurement interact with each other, and moreover, why social circuses engage in impact measurement and how they are using it in relation to institutional work. This study draws upon the Institutional logics and institutional entrepreneurship perspective, to be able to study the multilevel process of engaging in impact measurement. The research has been approached within a social constructivist framework, which allowed us to explore the dialogue and tensions between different levels of multilevel institutional work. As the study focuses on how social circus organizations over time have acted when engaging in impact measurement, both as actors and organizations, a qualitative and inductive methodology was applied. The research takes its point of departure in case studies of two social circus organizations who were chosen due to their engagement in impact measurement. The study showed how impact measurement requires multilevel institutional work, at both the individual-, organizational-and societal-level. The research contributes to the field of social circus and social entrepreneurship by emphasizing how impact measurement can be seen as a divergent change potentially leading to institutional entrepreneurship, by forcing a multilevel dialogue internally in the organization and with the outside world.

EducationsMSocSc in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages79
SupervisorsKai Hockerts