How Emerging Organizations Take Form: The Role of Imprinting and Values in Organizational Bricolage
Organization Science 25(6): 1785 - 1806.
53 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2014 Last revised: 13 Aug 2015
Date Written: March 2, 2014
We examine how emerging organizations acquire shape by drawing on multiple organizational forms, a process we call organizational bricolage. Studying Indymedia London, a grassroots media collective, we propose a grounded theory of organizational bricolage that identifies how various types of organizational forms are selected, and how they are instantiated into the organization. While extant research has emphasized imprinting as primary mechanism shaping newly founded organizations, we point to the additional role of organizational values. Emerging organizations augment their imprinted forms by using ancillary forms aligned with their organizational values, and reinforce their core features by differentiating themselves from antagonistic forms that conflict with their values. We contribute to the literature on organizational formation by developing a process model that details how imprinted forms are subsequently modified. Moreover, we extend theories of bricolage by specifying the limits to the relative arbitrariness of bricolage as an activity, and contribute to the study of organizational values by suggesting they act as a focusing device shaping organizational structure.
Keywords: Organizational forms, Imprinting, Bricolage, Organizational values, Entrepreneurship
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation