Reconstructing institutional complexity in practice: a relational model of institutional work and complexity

Michael Smets*, Paula Jarzabkowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article develops a relational model of institutional work and complexity. This model advances current institutional debates on institutional complexity and institutional work in three ways. First, it provides a relational and dynamic perspective on institutional complexity by explaining how constellations of logics - and their degree of internal contradiction - are constructed rather than given. Second, it refines our current understanding of agency, intentionality and effort in institutional work by demonstrating how different dimensions of agency interact dynamically in the institutional work of reconstructing institutional complexity. Third, it situates institutional work in the everyday practice of individuals coping with the institutional complexities of their work. In doing so, it reconnects the construction of institutionally complex settings to the actions and interactions of the individuals who inhabit them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1309
Number of pages31
JournalHuman Relations
Volume66
Issue number10
Early online date19 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • agency
  • global law firms
  • intentionality
  • practice theory
  • professional service firms
  • relationality

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