New Themes in Institutional Analysis
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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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Chapter 7: Refusing, connecting, and playing off conflicting institutional demands: a longitudinal study on the organizational handling of the end of nuclear power, climate protection, and the energy turnaround in Germany

Stephan Bohn and Peter Walgenbach


Stephan Bohn and Peter Walgenbach address institutional complexity and organizational strategies dealing with conflicting institutional demands. By using a politically highly sensitive case – nuclear power – and analyzing media articles over a 15-year period, they bring attention to the contradicting and dynamic nature of the multiple institutional demands that organizations have to cope with. They show how German atomic power plant organizations played off different contradicting demands against each other, thereby negotiating the requirements with institutional stakeholders. This not only presents organizations as active agents in defining institutional demands, it also stresses that such demands are interwoven with broader political issues (in their case, climate change, safety of nuclear power, state’s dependence/independence from politically unstable regions, etc.) and can be highly controversial and dynamic.

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