Meanings on multiple levels: The influence of field-level and organizational-level meaning systems on diffusion

E. Geoffrey Love, Peter Cebon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study considers how organization-level and field-level meaning systems affect when firms adopt administrative innovations. We use a sample of over 1200 manufacturing sites to test hypotheses regarding the timing of adoption of Manufacturing Best Practice programmes. The results indicate that compatibility of the diffusing practice with the organization's internal meaning system is an important predictor of when firms adopt such programmes. However, the influence of such compatibility declines for later adopters - consistent with institutional pressures in the form of field-level meaning systems playing an increasing role over time. We also find that this decline occurs for sites with high exposure to institutional pressures, but not for sites with lower exposure. The findings suggest that internal meaning systems and differential exposure moderate the role of institutional pressures in the diffusion of administrative innovations. We discuss implications for theory and research on institutionalization and the diffusion of innovations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-267
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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