Institutional Sources of Practice Variation: Staffing College and University Recycling Programs

Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 46, pp. 29-56, 2001

Posted: 5 May 2011

See all articles by Michael Lounsbury

Michael Lounsbury

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

In this paper, I examine how variation arises in the staffing of recycling programs at colleges and universities. Through initial fieldwork, I identified two basic recycling program forms. Some schools adopted recycling programs that entailed the creation of new, full-time recycling manager positions that were filled by ecological activists. Other schools adopted more minimalist programs that were staffed by current employees who were more ecologically ambivalent and assumed recycling management responsibilities as a part-time, additional duty. Results of a subsequent survey of a population of colleges and universities show that this variation in staffing was importantly shaped by the Student Environmental Action Coalition, a national social movement organization that provided resources and support to student environmental groups at particular schools. Implications for the study of how field-level organizations shape the content of organizational practices are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Lounsbury, Michael, Institutional Sources of Practice Variation: Staffing College and University Recycling Programs (2001). Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 46, pp. 29-56, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1830387

Michael Lounsbury (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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