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Policy change as institutional work

Policy change as institutional work PurposePolicy change is frequently framed as resulting from governmental strategy based on explicit preferences, rational decision making and consecutive and aligned implementation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the theoretical perspective of institutional work as an alternative approach to understanding policy change, and investigates the construction of resources needed to perform such work.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a case study of the process wherein the idea of cultural and creative industries was introduced into Lithuanian cultural policy. The main data generating methods are document studies and qualitative interviews.FindingsThe analysis demonstrates the ways in which the resources needed to perform institutional work are created through the enactment of practice, and through the application of resourcing techniques. Three such techniques are identified in the empirical material: the application of experiences from other fields of practice, the elicitation of external support, and the borrowing of legitimacy.Originality/valueThe study offers an alternative approach to studies of policy change by demonstrating the value of institutional work in such change. Further, it contributes to the literature on institutional work by highlighting how instances of such work, drawing on a distributed agency, interlink and connect to each other in a process to produce policy change. Finally, it proposes three interrelated resourcing techniques underlying institutional work. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-5648
DOI
10.1108/QROM-05-2016-1380
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposePolicy change is frequently framed as resulting from governmental strategy based on explicit preferences, rational decision making and consecutive and aligned implementation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the theoretical perspective of institutional work as an alternative approach to understanding policy change, and investigates the construction of resources needed to perform such work.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a case study of the process wherein the idea of cultural and creative industries was introduced into Lithuanian cultural policy. The main data generating methods are document studies and qualitative interviews.FindingsThe analysis demonstrates the ways in which the resources needed to perform institutional work are created through the enactment of practice, and through the application of resourcing techniques. Three such techniques are identified in the empirical material: the application of experiences from other fields of practice, the elicitation of external support, and the borrowing of legitimacy.Originality/valueThe study offers an alternative approach to studies of policy change by demonstrating the value of institutional work in such change. Further, it contributes to the literature on institutional work by highlighting how instances of such work, drawing on a distributed agency, interlink and connect to each other in a process to produce policy change. Finally, it proposes three interrelated resourcing techniques underlying institutional work.

Journal

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 12, 2017

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