University of Cambridge > > Organization Theory Seminar Series > A Non-Conflictual Pathway of Change by the Marginalized: Interstitial Positioning and Logic Integration

A Non-Conflictual Pathway of Change by the Marginalized: Interstitial Positioning and Logic Integration

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Rene Wiedner.

Change in highly institutionalized environments is often difficult because it involves unlocking normative, cognitive and regulative mechanisms that maintain current regimes, and it often threatens elite interests. Marginalized actors who desire changes in institutional arrangements may not have the influence to make them happen, and contestation may not be a “safe” strategy. We examine a social enterprise and movement of Japanese housewives seeking to improve the life of Japanese citizens. Guided by a consistent set of core values connected to a marginalized societal logic, the “life logic”, the Seikatsu Club and its associated network of organizations, engaged in continuous innovations in interstitial locations, creating new organizational forms as bridging structures from the periphery to dominant spheres. Such organizational forms, moreover, were different enough that they did not attract much attention or sanction from dominant players, because they operated outside dominant fields. The Seikatsu Club’s life logic became the legitimating factor, both internally and externally, for the pursuit of change. More importantly, through those bridging structures, the core values of the Seikatsu Club spilled over into the mainstream political and economic structures, causing reverse adaptation, hence achieving social change without evoking direct contestation. Our study shows how marginalized actors can effect institutional change without contestation and conflict through pragmatic, values-driven action in interstitial spaces.

All are welcome to attend! Free light lunch provided!

Bio: Dr. Charlene Zietsma is Associate Professor and Ann Brown Chair of Organization Studies and Director of Entrepreneurship at the Schulich School of Business, York University in Toronto, Canada. Charlene’s research focuses on the multilevel, multi-actor processes leading to significant, large-scale social innovation and change, using lenses of institutional theory, social movements and entrepreneurship. She primarily focuses on empirical contexts associated with transitions toward social and environmental sustainability. Charlene has published articles in Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Journal of Business Venturing and others. She is a Senior Editor for Organization Studies, and serves on the editorial board for several other journals. She is co-editing special issues/themed sections on institutional complexity, emotions and institutions and social innovation in Strategic Organization, Organization Studies and Business and Society, respectively. Charlene has held a visiting Chair of Excellence at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid in 2015/2016 and has been a visiting scholar at University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of Queensland, and Queensland University of Technology in 2016

This talk is part of the Organization Theory Seminar Series series.

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