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"LANGUAGE AND INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF PRACTICES: USAGE OF WHITE-COLLAR CRIME, 1939-2001"

Abhijeet Vadera and Ruth V. Aguilera

 

First Author :

Abhijeet Vadera
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business
1206 S. Sixth Street, MC 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

avadera2@uiuc.edu


Second Author :

Ruth V. Aguilera
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business
1206 S. Sixth Street, M/C 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

217-333-7090
217-244-7969 (Fax)

ruth-agu@uiuc.edu

http://www.business.uiuc.edu/faculty/aguilera.html

 
 
Abstract :
 
Institutional theorists have recently begun to examine the role of agency in influencing institutionalization of practices. We extend this work by qualitatively investigating how institutional actors’ use of a particular language can facilitate institutionalization. We find that a particular set of vocabularies enters an institutional field through bricolage and then undergoes a sensemaking process whereby institutional actors try to “make sense” of the language. Our quantitative analysis suggests that these processes of bricolage and sensemaking facilitate the institutionalization process. However, once the language, and the practice associated with it, is institutionalized, there exists a loose coupling between the language and the practice. We uncover these findings by exploring the language of “white-collar crime” and the practice of investigating white-collar crime by various law enforcement agencies.
 
 
Manuscript Received : 2008
Manuscript Published : 2008
 
 
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