Managing Competing Logics Through Situational Irony
2015 (English)In: The international journal of information and learning technology, ISSN 2056-4880, E-ISSN 2056-4899, Vol. 8, no 4, 649-678 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to extend the literature on how actors manage competing logics in an organizational field. The authors do so by introducing the concept of organizational irony to the literature on how to manage competing logics, and analyze a collaborative cultural project encompassing actors subjected to competing institutional logics. Design/methodology/approach - The case study is built on qualitative data from in-depth interviews, newspaper articles and observations. Findings - The authors describe and analyze a cultural project encompassing actors subjected to competing institutional logics and show how they responded to institutional pressures in their environment with the use of organizational irony. Thereby, the actors could collaborate with actors subjected to a competing institutional logic and still maintain adherence to their respective institutional logic. Research limitations/implications - Most studies of how to manage competing logics asserts that one logic will prevail over a competing one, either through "battles" or gradual dominance (Reay and Hinings, 2009). This study supports and adds to Reay and Hinings' (2009) finding that actors also can collaborate and maintain adherence to their respective logic under such circumstances. In particular, it supports two identified mechanisms of how this can be achieved, namely, to separate decisions and to jointly innovate in experimental sites. It also adds to these mechanisms by showing that this can be done through the use of organizational irony. The authors only study one cultural project in one organizational field. It remains unclear if these findings are common in other cultural projects or in other organizational field, and the authors therefore encourage other researchers to extend or challenge the findings of this study. Practical implications - The authors believe that the analysis and findings can be useful for politicians to take into account and address either to minimize the risk of organizational irony or on the contrary encourage it as a source of reflexive critique of society and cultural politics. The authors also believe that the response of organizational irony to institutional pressures broadens the acting space of cultural actors, provide media and critics with an analytical tool to analyze and deconstruct practices that otherwise would risk to be silenced or neglected. Finally, the authors believe that an analysis of organizational irony has the potential to make people attend to contradictions and multiple meanings in the artworks under study in a novel way. Originality/value - The paper provides an intriguing and complex empirical case to demonstrate how actors manage competing logics in an organizational field through the production of organizational irony. The authors believe that its theoretical contributions and practical implications can inspire future research on how paradoxes can be managed through the use of organizational irony in other projects and organizational fields.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 8, no 4, 649-678 p.
Competing institutional logics; Cultural projects; Organizational irony; Situational irony
Research subject Business Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261021DOI: 10.1108/IJMPB-11-2014-0084ISI: 000369995500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261021DiVA: diva2:849439