Structural and cultural approaches towards studying the diffusion of management practices

Scheiber, Florian

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-330084
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2013
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Woywode, Michael
Date of oral examination: 6 March 2013
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Mittelstandsforschung u. Entrepreneurship (Woywode 2007-)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
330 Economics
650 Management
Subject headings (SWD): Management , Diffusion , Neoinstitutionalismus
Keywords (English): diffusion , management practices , neo-institutional theory
Abstract: This dissertation combines so called structural and cultural approaches within diffusion research from organizational theory in order to contribute to gaining a deeper understanding for the spread of management practices. Therefore, three empirical cases are assessed using both qualitative and quantitative research methods: (1) The diffusion of codes of conduct among 287 firms in the German textile and apparel industry, (2) the diffusion of modern management practices among 272 German SMEs and (3) symbolic adoption of management practices by the 500 largest companies in Germany. Overall, the results demonstrate that explaining the upstream processes of much organizational and societal change we are witnessing today requires a thorough assessment of interactions between cultural processes through which individual and organizational actors define relevant building blocks of a socially shared reality and measurable social conduits which enable the spread and perpetuation of such definitions.

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