Institutional contradiction and management control innovation: a field study of total quality management practices in a privatised telecommunications company

Umesh Sharma, Stewart Lawrence, Alan Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to theorise the changes surrounding the introduction of a management control innovation, total quality management (TQM) techniques, within Telecom Fiji Limited. Using institutional theory and drawing on empirical evidence from multiple sources including interviews, discussions and documents, the paper explicates the institutionalization of these TQM practices. The focus of the paper is the micro-processes and practice changes around TQM implementation, rather than the influence of the macro-level structures that are often linked with institutional theory. The change agents used Quality Action Teams and the National Quality Council to introduce new TQM routines. The present study extends the scope of institutional analysis by explaining how institutional contradictions impact to create and make space for institutional entrepreneurs, who in turn, modify existing routines or introduce new routines in fluid organizational environments which also exhibit evidence of resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251–264
Number of pages14
JournalManagement Accounting Research
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • institutional theory
  • total quality management
  • institutional contradictions
  • Telecom Fiji Limited
  • routines

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