Evolution of Institutional Logics: The Emergence of the Temporary Work Agencies Field in Italy

  •  Alessia Berni    
  •  Mariavittoria Cicellin    
  •  Stefano Consiglio    
  •  Luigi Moschera    


This article shows the process of creation and evolution of an organizational field. By an in-depth longitudinal analysis, we investigate the field of Temporary Work Agencies in Italy (TWAs). The article focuses on how a field evolves over time. We delineate three phases of evolution - incubation, emergence and development - and we analyse events and the role of actors that have characterized them. Further, we identify the institutional logics that have strongly influenced the strategic and organizational behaviour of the actors involved in the Italian field of TWAs and their interactions. Therefore, to respond to this institutional complexity the actors have tried to influence with both individual and collective actions the logics themselves. The analysis shows that two competing logics have coexisted within the TWA field: the regulation logic, inspired by the social status and welfare, and the de-regulation logic, connected to the liberal and free-market model. Through the longitudinal analysis repeated in four different field studies, we have reconstructed the process of evolution of the field, describing the links between the different phases. Our research contributes to the institutional logic perspective fitting into the discussion on the coexistence of competing logics in an organizational field.

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