Proto-Institutionalization as a Complex Socio-Technical Process: The Emergence of Diversity Practices in Computer Science Education
1 online resource (209 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Extant scholarship in organizational science explains the conditions under which organizational actors adopt established institutional practices. Organizational scientists have been less successful in explaining the origins of institutional practices; addressing that lacunae is the focus of my research. Specifically, this study examines the emergence of novel institutional practices or the process of proto-institutionalization as a complex social process that occurs both through face-to-face and virtual interaction among numerous, disparate organizational actors. Accordingly, I introduce a novel theoretical construct – the digital field – to explain how information technologies facilitate proto-institutionalization. To map the digital field, I use a web crawler to collect a sample of websites from the digital field of computer science education. Social network analysis examines the structure of the digital field. To contextualize the findings from the network analysis, I conduct interviews with organizational leaders of DiverseCS, a non-profit organization that aims to increase the representation of women and racial/ethnic minorities in computer science education. I find that organizational leaders pursue three strategies of action to enable the emergence of proto-institutions in a digital context: 1) building a coherent organizational identity, 2) engaging in network brokerage, and 3) constructing organizational narratives. Together, a mixed methods approach provides a lens to understand the macro-level and micro-level connections and complexity in a digital field during proto-institutionalization. This study, therefore, holds important implications both for organizational science and also management practitioners.
Organizational behaviorManagementOrganizational sociology
Complexity TheoryDigital FieldInstitutionsLeadership
Beck, TammyGooty, JanakiBochantin, Jaime
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2018.
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