Organizations instantiate multiple institutional logics, which operate in a nested fashion across levels of analysis. A demand on organizations in the Global South from aid donors is to adopt new management systems. Management systems like kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, have an inherent logic. Kaizen’s adoption in Ethiopia, a postsocialist state, can be rendered ceremonial if its logic is not fully instantiated along with prevailing logics within recipient organizations. Our examination of the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation is an application of Besharov and Smith’s 2014 framework. We assume there is a high degree of centrality in this state-owned enterprise, because any managerial logic absorbed would have to adhere to the state logic. We conducted interviews, supplemented by archival data review, to illustrate what actors do to improve compatibility with state logic. Our findings suggest three institutional logics were instantiated, in order: the macro logic of developmental authoritarianism; micro logics of production order and social control; and the meso logic of knowledge brokerage. We propose the concept of layered logic, or ordering of institutional logics, each serving a distinct purpose yet fitted with the others.
Layered Logic: Institutional Logics Instantiated in the Management of Kaizen in Ethiopia
Gordon C. Shen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management, Policy, and Community Health, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His research focuses on management innovation, as it pertains to international development, humanitarian assistance, and mental health.
Peter F. Martelli is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Healthcare Administration in the Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University. His research focuses on behavioral models of risk, safety, and reliability across industries and settings, most recently as a Fulbright Scholar to the Republic of Georgia exploring patient safety.
Fekadu N. Deresse is Director of Labour Market Analytics in the Agricultural Transformation Institute / Ethiopian Investment Commission. His research focuses on the impact of job switching and social networks on labor market outcomes, job transition and matching, game-based skills and technology transfer, and learning industrialization.
Gordon C. Shen, Peter F. Martelli, Fekadu N. Deresse; Layered Logic: Institutional Logics Instantiated in the Management of Kaizen in Ethiopia. Sociology of Development 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/sod.2021.0038
Download citation file: