Essays on the discursive formation of emerging organizational fields: The role of technology, institutional logics, and identity

Lo Verso, Andrea Carlo (2019) Essays on the discursive formation of emerging organizational fields: The role of technology, institutional logics, and identity, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in General management, 30 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/9082.
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The thesis aims at shedding light on the process of organizational field emergence as resulting from a collectively enacted discursive endeavor. The investigation hinges upon the perspective that the generation of institutional and organizational domains of activity is primarily driven by the encounter of multiple and potentially misaligned social constituencies who work out their mutual incongruences by engaging in communicative-dialectical activities. Overall, the thesis contributes to an ongoing conversation on meaning making as the fundamental process driving the formation of organizational fields. These processes are explored both theoretically (essay 1) and empirically in the context of the nascent civil drone field (essays 2 and 3). Essay 1 provides a framework of dialectical meaning-making in emerging technological fields. It aims to show how fields emerge when meaning making processes are activated for the definition of the new technological artifacts, the identities of the actors involved with it, and the institutional infrastructures that shall govern their interactions. Essay 2 explores the role of multiple institutional logics as driver of field emergence. The emerging civil drone field is permeated by discursive activity on a number of issues that are framed according to multiple institutional logics. By analyzing how actors debate these issues in field conferences, the paper tracks a number of discursive interaction patterns that are generative of new meanings by combining potentially conflicting logics. Essay 3 addresses the identity formation process in nascent fields populated by heterogeneous organizations. By performing content analysis of a sample of field’s organizational mission statements and of a publication dedicated to drones, the paper highlights that the emergence of a field-specific identity is driven by an isomorphic tendency to mimic professionalized vocabularies and is shaped by ideational field-level discourse. This ensures legitimacy to the emerging field, while creating a distinctive field identity forged by drone-specific issues.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lo Verso, Andrea Carlo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Field emergence, discourse, technology, institutional logics, identity
Data di discussione
10 Maggio 2019

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