We use meta-analytical techniques to address three central debates in institutional theory: Is organizational behavior the product of social structure or organizational agency? Does conformity to institutional norms enhance or diminish organizational performance? Can organizational field-level factors explain differences in the pull of isomorphic forces across organizational fields? We find that the influence of social structure is weak. Also, the adoption of isomorphic templates improves both symbolic and substantive performance. Finally, we identify several field-level factors that moderate isomorphic processes. We discuss the implications of these findings for institutional theory research.

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Academy of Management Journal
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Heugens, P., & Lander, M. (2009). Structure! agency! (and other quarrels): A meta-analysis of institutional theories of organization. Academy of Management Journal, 52(1), 61–85. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/18101