A relational perspective of institutional work

Topal Ç.

JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT & ORGANIZATION, vol.21, no.4, pp.495-514, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/jmo.2015.13
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.495-514
  • Keywords: institutional work, relationships, power position, meaning framework, ORGANIZATIONAL ROUTINES, FIELD, PERFORMANCE, IDENTITY, AGENCY, MODEL, NEWS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study develops a relational model of institutional work. The past research implies that the nature of relationships between individual actors actually shapes the nature of institutional work the actors engage in. However, the research falls short of an explicit, systematic analysis of different relationships between the actors and their work implications. This study basically argues that the actors' power positions, which might be dominant or subordinate in relation to those of other actors, and their meaning frameworks, which might diverge from or converge with those of other actors, lead the actors to engage in a particular type of relationship with those other actors, and this relationship gives a particular form to the institutional work of the actors in relation. Hence, this study explicitly locates institutional work within the context of the relationships and highlights that institutional work is a relational rather than structural or individual phenomenon.