Interstitial Brokers and Institutional Change

Furnari, S. (2012). Interstitial Brokers and Institutional Change. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, doi: 10.5465/AMBPP.2012.138

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Abstract

This paper develops the notion of ‘interstitial brokers’ –actors spanning an interstice or gap between organizational fields- examining how these actors can initiate institutional change when the fields that they bridge are shaped by competing institutional logics. Competing logics expose interstitial brokers to role tensions that hinder the process of resource mobilization for institutional change. I investigate the micro-processes through which interstitial brokers can overcome these role tensions, successfully mobilizing resources for change. As case of institutional change, I examine the selection of Frank Gehry as the new Millennium’s global icon of Chicago’s public architecture, traditionally oriented towards local Chicago-based architects. I track this iconic change to the actions of a set of interstitial brokers located in the interstice between the competing fields of private business philanthropy and public government. Findings show that in the presence of competing logics interstitial brokers can successfully mobilize resources silently, avoiding direct confrontation and negotiation with defenders of the institutional status-quo, decoupling their vision from action, and co-opting representatives of the status-quo in their mobilization efforts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/12176

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