Movement-led institutional change: Uncertainty, networks, and the diffusion of contentious practices in organizational fields

Forrest Briscoe, Sean Safford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This paper develops an argument about how contentious changes unfold in organizational fields, focusing on the role of uncertainty – and the networks people use to address uncertainty. We propose that as controversial practice gains traction and spreads, the nature of uncertainty facing organizational decision makers also evolves. This dynamic has important implications for how different actors and networks can influence change. We illustrate our argument with a mixed-methods case study on the diffusion of domestic partner benefits across US Fortune 500 companies. Our findings shed light on how – and when – social activists, corporate elites, and middle managers can influence the corporate decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Pages83-127
Number of pages45
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
Volume56
ISSN (Print)0733-558X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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