Institutional processes of organizational culture

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73 Citations (Scopus)


Queries into the creation of collective meaning through social processes arise in both organization culture and institutional theory. This paper applies DiMaggio and Powell's (1983) three isomorphic processes (mimetic, normative and coercive) from institutional theory to re-think how structural and dynamic aspects of culture become nested, taken-for-granted and transmitted. We consider both acquiescence and resistance to isomorphic pressures in an effort to understand cultural persistence and transmission, forms of resistance to culture, change, the role of sub-cultures and power usage through Oliver's (1992) de-institutionalization thesis. Our purpose in applying isomorphic processes to organizational culture is to offer another layer of understanding enhanced by the growing body of research in institutional theory, bridge one division between micro and macro theory and provide some suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-58
Number of pages20
JournalCulture and Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Institutional theory
  • Isomorphism
  • Organizational culture


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