Starjournal Quotation Gümüsay, Ali Aslan, Smets, Michael, Morris, Timothy. 2019. 'God at work': Engaging central and incompatible institutional logics through elastic hybridity. Academy of Management Journal.




Based on a 24-month ethnographic case study of the opening of the first Islamic bank in Germany, we make three contributions to the institutional theory literature: First, we outline polysemy and polyphony as mechanisms that dynamically engage conflicting logics through an organizational-individual interplay. Borrowing from paradox theory, we explain how hybrids can empower individuals to fluidly separate and integrate logics when neither structural compartmentalizing nor organizational blending are feasible because management cannot prescribe a specific balance of logics. Second, we explain the state of elastic hybridity, constituted through the recursive, multi-level relationship between polysemy and polyphony. Elastic hybrids maintain unity in diversity. They are capable of institutionally bending without organizationally breaking and thus enable individuals to practice more of their personal convictions at work while still experiencing a sense of shared organizational purpose. Third, we show how contested hybrids can be made to last. By dynamically making logics either less central or more compatible, elastic hybrids become less conflict-prone and more resilient without permanently becoming more aligned or estranged.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Academy of Management Journal
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A+
Starjournal Y
Language English
Title 'God at work': Engaging central and incompatible institutional logics through elastic hybridity
Year 2019
Reviewed? Y
Open Access N


Gümüsay, Ali Aslan (Former researcher)
Morris, Timothy (Said Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
Smets, Michael (Said Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance FI (Details)
Urban Management and Governance (Meyer) (Details)
Institute for Organization Studies IN (Details)
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