IN this chapter, I address the forms of institutional work involved in symbolic institutional maintenance. Taking a narrative approach, I define symbolic institutional maintenance as the travel of institutional stories across social levels, and I explore the forms of institutional work used to translate societal meta-narratives into organizations and the lives of individuals. Based on the study of a rape crisis center in Israel, I examine the maintenance of the feminist and therapeutic institutions within which the organization was embedded. I follow the feminist and therapeutic meta-narratives prevalent in Israeli society, as they traveled into, and were modified by, the rape crisis center. Further, I follow the use of these societal-level narratives, and the organizational versions thereof, by organizational members, as they strove to make sense of their own lives and identities. I conceptualize this series of narrative acts as institutional maintenance, worked out in the interfaces of various social levels; embedded in power relations; and involving the delicate balance of duplication and change. At the societal level, institutions are embodied within diverse meta-narratives that encode the “taken-for-granted” in shared poetic tropes, like protagonists and villains, dramatic settings and plots. Organizational members carry these institutional meta-narratives into the organization. Still, societal meta-narratives that are taken up within organizations do not simply duplicate the institutional order. Rather, through reinterpretation organizational elites translate them into local – more specific and selective – versions, which are then used in organizational sense-making processes.
|Original language||American English|
|Title of host publication||Institutional Work|
|Subtitle of host publication||Actors and Agency in Institutional Studies of Organizations|
|Editors||Thomas B. Lawrence, Roy Suddaby, Bernard Leca|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||31|
|State||Published - 2009|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2009.