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Stephan Leixnering, Andrea Schikowitz and Renate E. Meyer

The Austrian COCOPS findings confirm the ongoing relevance of the traditional legalistic public sector norms and values. However, this traditional administrative culture is today supplemented with managerialistic and network-oriented ideas and orientations. Combining a focus on results with process orientation and increased networking and mediating activities between diverse actors and interests, we find hybrid forms of governance and executives’ role identities. For instance, shifting value priorities, such as emphasis of the relevance of results in general, go along with reluctant behaviour, such as a lack of actual performance management, underscored by the perception of low management autonomy. Thus, while managerial values and principles appear as incorporated in Austrian public executives’ role identities, in order to deal with shortcomings and contradictions with the existing system, they fall back to familiar practices: Basically, nothing is different, but everything’s changed.

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New Themes in Institutional Analysis

Topics and Issues from European Research

Edited by Georg Krücken, Carmelo Mazza, Renate E. Meyer and Peter Walgenbach

Institutional theory has become one of the dominant organizational approaches in recent decades. Its roots can be traced to Europe, and an important intellectual objective of this book is to examine North American theory strands and reconnect them with European research traditions. In addition, this book focuses on how organizations and individuals handle heterogeneous and challenging social conditions which are subsequently reflected in various forms of change.
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Georg Krücken, Renate E. Meyer and Peter Walgenbach

In the introduction to the volume, Georg Krücken, Renate Meyer and Peter Walgenbach sketch the origins and the development of the European network of scholars interested in new institutionalism. Further, they provide an overview of the content of the volume at hand.

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Markus A. Höllerer, Renate E. Meyer and Michael Lounsbury

Markus Höllerer, Renate Meyer and Michael Lounsbury focus on annual reports of Austrian publicly listed firms and analyze how corporations theorize their social and societal responsibilities. They describe the pattern that they find on the field level as politicization of corporations at the expense of a de-politicization of society: Firms increasingly engage as ‘citizens’ in social policy while, at the same time, power and responsibility are relocated from the sphere of the neo-corporatist state to rather independently operating units such as private sector firms. The chapter not only addresses important conceptual and comparative issues in neo-institutional analysis, but it also speaks to research communities in macro-sociology, political science, and political economy that have not been at the center of attention of our approach so far.