Change and continuity: What can construction tell us about institutional theory?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Organisational institutionalism offers a powerful framework that opens up the analysis of routines and practices beyond the realm of individual actions, behaviours and choice. In this chapter, the use of institutional theory in studying the affairs and practices of the construction industry is outlined. Early scholarship tended to focus on isomorphic change to answer questions of institutional continuity or, how certain rules, routines and practices in construction work become legitimised, produced and reproduced. More recently, institutional scholars have turned away from continuity to focus their attention on how institutional theory can help explain organisational change. This has subsequently stimulated work on how competing and complementary institutional logics, along with institutional entrepreneurship and institutional work, can enable new practices to emerge, and how routines and practices are recursively constituted through ongoing dialogue and negotiation both socially and materially. The review highlighted how institutional theory is limited in capturing a processual understanding of change. This chapter concludes with suggestions for further research; specifically, calls are made to consider construction as a unique context that can offer new insights through a more processual and more inclusive accounts of institutional change and demise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocieties Under Construction: Geographies, sociologies and histories of building
EditorsDaniel Sage, Chloé Vitry
PublisherPalgrave MacMillan
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Change
  • Demise
  • Institutional Theory
  • Institutional Work
  • Processual


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