Institutions theory and resources dependence in organizational adaptation: a complementary perspective

This paper discusses the analysis of the process of strategic adaptation from two perspectives: Institutional Analysis and Resource Dependence. A review of the literature is presented followed by a discussion about the contribution of both perspectives for the understanding of the strategic adaptation process of organizations. The authors argue that, despite their apparent differences, they can be complimentary. This is mostly due to their common view of the environment as the key factor to organizational functioning. According to the Institutional Perspective, organizations are resistant to organizational pressures to the extent that organizational tradition, environment context, or both, support this resistance. On the other hand, Resource Dependency suggests organizations adapt to such pressure to the extent that organizational actors correctly perceive and manage the necessary changes. Hence, to comprehend how organizational processes result in survival or not, both perspectives need to be considered in the analysis of strategic decisions.

Institutional analysis; strategic adaptation; resources dependence; environmental determinism; isomorfism


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