Willing and Able: A General Model of Organizational Responses to Normative Pressures

Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming

HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2017-1234

46 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2017 Last revised: 29 Nov 2017

Rodolphe Durand

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Olga Hawn

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Ioannis Ioannou

London Business School

Date Written: October 9, 2017

Abstract

We develop a conceptual understanding of when and how organizations respond to normative pressures. More precisely, we examine two main factors underlying the willingness and ability of organizations to respond to an issue: (1) issue salience, and (2) the cost-benefit analysis of resource mobilization. We suggest that decision-makers’ interpretation of issue salience in conjunction with their perception of the costs and benefits of taking action to address the issue generates five potential responses: symbolic compliance and symbolic conformity, substantive compliance and substantive conformity, and inaction. We extend the baseline model by examining a number of boundary conditions. By focusing on the willingness and ability of organizations to respond to normative pressures, and by adopting the issue as the unit of analysis, our model helps explain intra- as well as inter-organizational response heterogeneity to institutional complexity. We contribute to the institutional research tradition and offer useful implications for managerial practice, from strategic management to policy making.

Keywords: institutional theory, normative pressures, symbolic, substantive, conformity, compliance, issue salience

Suggested Citation

Durand, Rodolphe and Hawn, Olga and Ioannou, Ioannis, Willing and Able: A General Model of Organizational Responses to Normative Pressures (October 9, 2017). Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming; HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2017-1234. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3050072

Rodolphe Durand

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Olga Hawn

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Ioannis Ioannou (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
02070008748 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ioannou.us

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