This study highlights the importance of communities in explaining organizational resistance to institutional pressures. Examining the active resistance of small bars to smoking regulations in 427 Dutch municipalities (communities), we argue that the likelihood of organizational resistance to institutional pressure from a powerful actor is affected by the social cohesion of the focal community. In addition, we propose a contiguity effect that emphasizes the broader social context of the community—its neighboring communities—as a source for support or information about appropriate ways to resist such pressures. By incorporating community attributes to account for organizations’ heterogeneous responses to institutional pressure, the study advances current institutional scholarship and demonstrates empirically how such a theory can help explain the success of relatively weak organizational actors’ resistance in the face of strong institutional pressures by the state—that is, as a result of their embeddedness in a community.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL,
Journal Academy of Management Journal
Simons, T., Vermeulen, P, & Knoben, J. (2015). There’s no beer without a smoke: Community cohesion and neighboring communities’ effects on organizational resistance to antismoking regulations in the Dutch hospitality industry. Academy of Management Journal, 59(2), 545–578. doi:10.5465/amj.2014.0379