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Article
Meanings on Multiple Levels: The Influence of Field-Level and Organization-Level Meaning Systems on Diffusion
Journal of Management Studies (2008)
  • E. Geoffrey Love
  • Peter Cebon, Melbourne Business School
Abstract

This study considers how organisation-level and field-level meaning systems affect when firms adopt administrative innovations. We use a sample of over 1200 manufacturing sites to test hypotheses regarding the timing of adoption of Manufacturing Best Practice Programs. The results indicate that compatibility of the diffusing practice with the organisation’s internal meaning system is an important predictor of when firms adopt such Programs. However, the influence of such compatibility declines for later adopters - consistent with institutional pressures in the form of field-level meaning systems playing an increasing role over time. We also find that this decline occurs for sites with high exposure to institutional pressures, but not for sites with lower exposure. The findings suggest that internal meaning systems and differential exposure moderate the role of institutional pressures in the diffusion of administrative innovations. We discuss implications for theory and research on institutionalization and the diffusion of innovations.

Keywords
  • Meaning systems,
  • institutional fields,
  • diffusion,
  • institutionalization
Disciplines
Publication Date
March, 2008
Citation Information
E. Geoffrey Love and Peter Cebon. "Meanings on Multiple Levels: The Influence of Field-Level and Organization-Level Meaning Systems on Diffusion" Journal of Management Studies Vol. 45 Iss. 2 (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/peter_cebon/3/