Chapter | Institutional Logics in Action | 2013

Logic Pluralism, Organizational Design, and Practice Adoption: The Structural Embeddedness of CSR Programs

by Mary Ann Glynn and Ryan Raffaelli

Abstract

The institutional logics perspective highlights how organizations are embedded within broader systems of meaning and how this embeddedness activates salient institutional logics in organizations that can enable or constrain organizational decisions, practices, and actions. We investigate a core premise of the institutional logics perspective, that of the alignment of institutional logics and organizational practices and design, in the organizational adoption of CSR practices. We hypothesize that, in the adoption of practices, organizations will house those practices in structural units that align with the logic emphasized by the practice: when adopting practices reflecting a market logic, organizations will locate them in mainline business units, such as marketing; conversely, when adopting practices reflecting a community logic, organizations will locate them in non-mainline business units, such as corporate or philanthropic foundations. Using survey and archival data from 161 Fortune 500 firms, we find support for our hypotheses. Our findings reveal how institutional logics serve as underlying lynchpins, connecting organizational practices to organizational design so as to reinforce and enable each other.

Keywords: Organizational Design; Management Practices and Processes; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact;

Citation:

Glynn, Mary Ann, and Ryan Raffaelli. "Logic Pluralism, Organizational Design, and Practice Adoption: The Structural Embeddedness of CSR Programs." In Institutional Logics in Action. Vol. 39B, edited by Michael Lounsbury and Eva Boxenbaum, 175–198. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Emerald Group Publishing, 2013.