Institutional Frame Switching: How Institutional Logics Shape Individual Action

Glaser, V. L., Fast, N.J., Harmon, D. J., and Green, S. E. (2016). In J. Gehman , M. Lounsbury , & R. Greenwood (Eds.) How Institutions Matter! Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 48A, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 35-69.

Although scholars increasingly use institutional logics to explain macro-level phenomena, we still know little about the micro-level psychological mechanisms by which institutional logics shape individual action. In this paper, we propose that individuals internalize institutional logics as an associative network of schemas that shapes individual actions through a process we call institutional frame switching. Specifically, we conduct two novel experiments that demonstrate how one particularly important schema associated with institutional logics—the implicit theory—can drive individual action. This work further develops the psychological underpinnings of the institutional logics perspective by connecting macro-level cultural understandings with micro-level situational behavior.

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