From Ritual to Reality: Demography, Ideology, and Decoupling in a Post-Communist Government Agency

Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 53, pp. 1474-­1498, December 2010

25 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009 Last revised: 25 Jul 2017

See all articles by András Tilcsik

András Tilcsik

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

Decoupling - the creation of gaps between formal policies and actual practices - is a ubiquitous organizational phenomenon. Yet, little research has examined how decoupling unfolds over time. This qualitative case study of a post-communist government agency develops process models of what precedes and what follows the decision to decouple. I show that the demography and ideology of powerful organizational members influence whether decoupling occurs, how it unfolds, and whether it is sustainable. Further, I suggest that decoupling may carry seeds of its own decay: under certain conditions, the decision to decouple can trigger demographic changes that eventually contribute to the erosion of decoupling.

Full paper available online.

Keywords: institutions, organizational change, decoupling, post-communist transition

Suggested Citation

Tilcsik, András, From Ritual to Reality: Demography, Ideology, and Decoupling in a Post-Communist Government Agency (December 1, 2010). Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 53, pp. 1474-­1498, December 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1494035

András Tilcsik (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

Canada

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