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The role of organizational integrity in responses to pressures: A case study of Australian newspapers
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Media, Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5650-3342
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the dissertation is to explore the role of organizational integrity in responses to pressures. Organizational integrity is a concept from old institutional theory; its definition is the fidelity to the organization’s core values, distinctive competence, guiding principles, and mission. Studying this concept empirically will answer calls in institutional theory to focus more on the internal dynamics in terms of the responses to pressures, especially how the people in the organization balance the act to conform or resist pressures while striving for legitimacy. These calls have remained largely unanswered, and the question of how organizations adapt while remaining true to core values and competences remains something of a mystery. Joining the recent resurgence of Selznick’s research, the aim of this dissertation is to contribute to the calls to focus on change and inertia together, and the role of values as the organization responds to pressures. Thus, change can be a threat to the organizational integrity and prompts members of the organization to preserve their familiar environment. However, this behavior creates a dilemma, since the maintenance of organizational integrity can be taken too far, to the point that the organization becomes rigid and unable to survive. Thus, it includes the organization finding a balance of staying true to its proclaimed mission and values without being too rigid and losing track of the changes in its environment. Therefore, by giving emphasis to the role of values, organizational integrity adds a new perspective and extends the understanding of how organizations respond to pressures.

To fulfil this aim, this dissertation followed two newspaper organizations, an industry that is marked by a state of flux and disruptive change. The two organizations are The Courier-Mail and The West Australian. By using methods such as interviews, documentation, and observations, I got a first-hand understanding of the perceived pressures the organizational members are facing, the issues that were perceived in the organization, and how the organizational members worked to resolve them. Through these cases, the organizations either conformed and/or resisted pressures, thus allowing this study to explore the role of organizational integrity in this process. The findings suggest that the organization’s values, distinctiveness, and mission were used to evaluate experiments to solve issues rather than solely guiding the strategies to overcome the pressures. Thus, the study highlights the perceived pressures, how organizational members construct issues based on these pressures, and how the organizational members work to resolve them.

This dissertation extends the understanding of organizational behavior in terms of balancing change and inertia. Organizational integrity works as a normative rationality, and to uphold legitimacy the role of organizational integrity is either to maintain, defend, or repair the character of the organization. More specifically, this adds to the scholarly discussion of the importance of values in organizational behavior, and this dissertation expands the understanding of responses to pressures by explicating the role of organizational integrity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School , 2017. , p. 294
Series
JIBS Dissertation Series, ISSN 1403-0470 ; 116
National Category
Business Administration Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37292ISBN: 978-91-86345-76-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-37292DiVA, id: diva2:1140773
Public defence
2017-10-06, B1014, Internationella Handelshögskolan, Jönköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-09-13 Last updated: 2017-09-13Bibliographically approved

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Ekberg, Sara

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