In this study, we use meta-analytical techniques to quantitatively synthesize and evaluate the sizeable body of empirical work that has been conducted under the banner of neo-institutional theory. We find strong support for the influence of mimetic pressures on organizational isomorphism, but support for the predicted roles of normative and coercive factors is mixed. Similarly, we find that the strategic isomorphism, the homogenous application of corporate policies, tends to translate into symbolic but not substantive performance effects. In combination with additional moderator analyses, these findings suggest new directions for future research.

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Keywords Artefact Corrections, Corporate Performance, Isomorphism, Meta-analysis, Moderator Analysis, Neo-Institutional Organization Theory
Publisher Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)
Persistent URL
Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., & Lander, M.W.. (2007). Testing the Strength of the Iron Cage: A Meta-Analysis of Neo-Institutional Theory (No. ERS-2007-007-ORG). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM). Retrieved from