Hybridized professional groups and institutional work: COSO and the rise of enterprise risk management

Christie Hayne, Clinton Free

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rise of risk management represents one of the major organizational shifts of the past decade. This article examines the emergence and diffusion of the dominant standard in the field, the Enterprise Risk Management - Integrated Framework, first published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations in 2004. Drawing on a range of interviews with key stakeholders and an analysis of secondary materials, we find evidence of numerous forms of institutional work including theorizing, rhetorical appeals, mythologizing, constructing normative networks and educating. The diaspora of associated entities provided a key platform for advocating and promoting the ERM technology and provided a stable and influential network of support. Our analysis suggests that, as a large, multi-faceted hybridized professional group, COSO was able to bridge conventional diffusion categories of disruption, creation and maintenance. We argue that the notion of institutional work offers a useful lens for examining the diffusion of innovations in accounting research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-330
Number of pages22
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems and Management


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