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Organizational Learning Under Institutional Complexity: Evidence from Township Clusters in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2021

Shuyang You
Affiliation:
Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China
Abby Jingzi Zhou
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham Ningbo China, China
Steven Shijin Zhou*
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham Ningbo China, China
Liangding Jia
Affiliation:
Nanjing University, China
Chengqi Wang
Affiliation:
Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, UK
*
Corresponding author: Steven Shijin Zhou (steven.zhou@nottingham.edu.cn)

Abstract

Drawing from conceptualizations of organizational learning and institutional complexity, we advance the understanding of how the coexistence of multiple institutional logics in a community influences firms’ learning. Viewing communities where firms and local governments coexist as clusters, our analysis of 354 firms in 39 township clusters in China shows that government logic negatively moderates the positive effect of community logic on organizational learning; however, social connections between the community and local governments mitigate this negative effect. Modeling the relationship between the two logics in this manner extends prior conceptualizations of interfirm learning as a process of isomorphic diffusion of social norms and advances understanding of the role of institutions in organizational learning. This study also offers new insights for theoretical conversations on the compatibility and incompatibility of multiple institutional logics by demonstrating when logic multiplicity leads to conflicts and when it maintains harmony.

摘要

基于组织学习理论和制度复杂性观点,我们对多制度逻辑下的组织社群如何影响企业学习行为进行了研究。我们将企业和地方政府共存的集群视为一类典型的组织社群,并对中国39个乡镇集群中的354家企业开展实证研究。结果表明,政府逻辑会弱化社群逻辑对组织学习的促进作用,而企业与地方政府间的连通性可以缓解该消极影响。从制度复杂性角度解释组织学习现象,拓展了有关组织社群中学习是基于社会规范同质化过程的观点,也使我们进一步理解制度环境在影响组织学习中的作用机理。同时,通过揭示多制度逻辑共存时表现出冲突还是和谐状态的边界条件,我们也对制度逻辑间的兼容性议题做出贡献。

Аннотация

На основании концептуальных представлений об организационном обучении и институциональной сложности, мы способствуем пониманию того, каким образом сосуществование множественных институциональных логических систем в сообществе влияет на организационное обучение в компаниях. При рассмотрении сообществ, в которых компании и местные органы власти сосуществуют в рамках кластера, наш анализ 354 компаний в 39 кластерах на уровне поселков в Китае показывает, что логика правительства противодействует положительному влиянию логики сообщества на организационное обучение; однако, социальные связи между сообществом и местными органами власти смягчают этот негативный эффект. Моделирование взаимодействия между двумя логическими системами расширяет прошлые представления о межорганизационном обучении как о процессе изоморфного распространения социальных норм и способствует пониманию роли институтов в организационном обучении. Это исследование также предлагает новые идеи для теоретических дискуссий о совместимости и несовместимости множественных институциональных логических систем, так как показывает, когда множественность логических систем приводит к конфликтам, а когда поддерживает гармонию.

Resumen

Basándonos en las conceptualizaciones de aprendizaje organizacional y la complejidad institucional, mejoramos la comprensión de cómo la co-existencia de lógicas institucionales múltiples en comunidades influencia el aprendizaje de las empresas. Observando comunidades donde las empresas y los gobiernos locales co-existen como clústeres, nuestro análisis de 354 empresas en 39 municipios en China muestra que la lógica del gobierno modera negativamente el efecto positivo de la lógica comunitaria sobre el aprendizaje organizacional; sin embargo, las conexiones entre la comunidad y los gobiernos locales mitigan este efecto negativo. Al modelar la relación entre las dos lógicas amplía las conceptualizaciones anteriores de aprendizaje entre las empresas como un proceso de difusión isomorfo de normas sociales y mejora la comprensión del papel de las instituciones en el aprendizaje organizacional. Este estudio también ofrece nuevos aportes para las conversaciones teóricas sobre la compatibilidad e incompatibilidad de múltiples lógicas institucionales al demostrar cuándo la multiplicidad de lógicas lleva a conflictos y cuando mantiene la armonía.

Type
Special Issue Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The International Association for Chinese Management Research

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Footnotes

ACCEPTED BY Guest Editor Bilian Sullivan

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