Combining Logics to Transform Organizational Agency: Blending Industry and Art at Alessi

Dalpiaz, E., Rindova, V. & Ravasi, D. (2016). Combining Logics to Transform Organizational Agency: Blending Industry and Art at Alessi. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(3), pp. 347-392. doi: 10.1177/0001839216636103

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Abstract

To understand how organizations combine conflicting institutional logics strategically to create and pursue new market opportunities, we conducted an in-depth longitudinal study of the multiple efforts of the Italian manufacturer of household goods Alessi to combine the logics of industrial manufacturing and cultural production. Over three decades, Alessi developed three different strategies to combine normative elements of the two logics, using each strategy to envision and pursue different market opportunities. By combining the logics of industrial manufacturing and cultural production, Alessi was able to envision new possibilities for value creation and to enact them through innovation in product design. The three strategies triggered a common set of mechanisms through which the purposeful combining of logics enabled the pursuit of opportunity, while each strategy structured the process differently. We develop a theoretical model linking the development of recombinant strategies to the dynamic restructuring of organizational agency and the related capacity to create and pursue new market opportunities. Our findings and theoretical insights advance understanding of the processes through which organizations challenge taken-for-granted beliefs and practices to create new market opportunities, use logics as resources to enable embedded agency, and design hybrid organizational arrangements.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2016
Uncontrolled Keywords: institutional complexity, multiple institutional logics, hybrid organizations, opportunity creation, design innovation, cultural production
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/13885

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