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Organizations as Penetrated Hierarchies: Environmental Pressures and Control in Professional Organizations

Organizations as Penetrated Hierarchies: Environmental Pressures and Control in Professional... Organizational control and environmental influences on organizational behavior are central themes in organization studies, yet little effort has been made to bring them together. In this paper we seek to contribute to filling this gap by investigating and conceptualizing environmental influences on organizational control. The paper examines patterns of organizational control and their environmental couplings through three parallel case studies of public universities in three European countries. We provide a systematic characterization of the space of configurations of control in professional knowledge-intensive organizations along the two axes of centralization of power and formalization of social relationships. We show that environmental characteristics do matter for the contestation and selection of control models. Finally, we unpack and conceptualize the synergetic influence of three environmental characteristics (institutional pressures, resource environment, and external social relationships) as providing sources of legitimacy and power for specific control regimes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Organization Studies: An international multidisciplinary journal devoted to the Studies of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societies SAGE

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References (64)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2015
ISSN
0170-8406
eISSN
1741-3044
DOI
10.1177/0170840615571960
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Organizational control and environmental influences on organizational behavior are central themes in organization studies, yet little effort has been made to bring them together. In this paper we seek to contribute to filling this gap by investigating and conceptualizing environmental influences on organizational control. The paper examines patterns of organizational control and their environmental couplings through three parallel case studies of public universities in three European countries. We provide a systematic characterization of the space of configurations of control in professional knowledge-intensive organizations along the two axes of centralization of power and formalization of social relationships. We show that environmental characteristics do matter for the contestation and selection of control models. Finally, we unpack and conceptualize the synergetic influence of three environmental characteristics (institutional pressures, resource environment, and external social relationships) as providing sources of legitimacy and power for specific control regimes.

Journal

Organization Studies: An international multidisciplinary journal devoted to the Studies of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societiesSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2015

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