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.

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