'Devils may sit here': the role of enchantment in institutional maintenance

Siebert, S. , Wilson, F. and Hamilton, J. R.A. (2017) 'Devils may sit here': the role of enchantment in institutional maintenance. Academy of Management Journal, 60(4), pp. 1607-1632. (doi: 10.5465/amj.2014.0487)

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This paper contributes to the literature on maintenance of institutions by analyzing the case of an old profession – Scottish advocates. Drawing on the neoinstitutional perspective on professions, we address the question – what role does organizational space play in institutional maintenance? We draw on our ethnographic study to make a three-fold contribution. Firstly, our case study shows how spaces, and how institutional actors interact with them, have a stabilizing effect on the institution, which leads to two important outcomes: maintenance of closure and reproduction of the status order. Secondly, we show how three spatial phenomena underpinning this stabilizing process are intertwined, thus enabling the process of institutional maintenance: (1) emplacement, (2) enactment of space, and (3) enchantment of space. Thirdly, by foregrounding the role of enchantment evoked by organizational spaces, we highlight the importance of the emotional and aesthetic aspects of institutional maintenance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wilson, Professor Fiona and Siebert, Professor Sabina
Authors: Siebert, S., Wilson, F., and Hamilton, J. R.A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Academy of Management Journal
Publisher:Academy of Management
ISSN (Online):0001-4273
Published Online:07 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Academy of Management
First Published:First published in Academy of Management Journal 60(4): 1607-1632
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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