The research examined the interplay between institutional logics in a multi-sectoral initiative. Taking a longitudinal approach, we tracked the first three years of an initiative that aimed to reduce social inequality by promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Israel. We observed how the paradoxical dynamics between multiple logics unfolded over time, following the alternating dominance of business, civil and state actors. Results showed the initiative oscillated between a civil society logic, seeing STEM as a ‘springboard’ for equal opportunities and social change, and a market logic, seeing STEM as a ‘pipeline’ towards a technological workforce and economic profit. The state logic influenced this oscillation by converging with one of the two other logics, affecting both the working processes and the social impact of the initiative. We contribute to paradox theory by developing a process model of the paradoxical dynamics between multiple institutional logics in multi-sectoral initiatives. We identify three main mechanisms that drive this process: power shifts, logic divergence/convergence and turning points. We suggest implications for the management of complex organizational environments.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. The project has received funding from Trump Foundation for the initial stages of the research.
© The Author(s) 2023.
- case study analysis
- institutional theory
- paradox theory
- STEM education