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Migration and instabilities in institutionalized practices: a case study of a total quality management system in a Spanish electricity company

By José María González González


This paper presents empirical evidence on the attempts to migrate a Total Quality Management (TQM) practice of an acquired firm to the acquiring firm upon a takeover. The migration of the TQM was largely unsuccessful as it failed to achieve the same level of institutionalization it had in the acquired firm. Based on a longitudinal case study in two large Spanish electricity companies, the paper argues that the explanations for the failed migration lay in complex sets of political, functional and social factors, such as the deregulation of the Spanish electricity sector, the lost of the custodians or entrepreneurs of the TQM, and the normative fragmentation as a result of organizational restructuring undertaken by the acquiring firm. The paper contributes to calls for institutional theory researchers to extend their analysis to focus on instabilities and institutional change instead of the dominant view of stability and durability of institutionalized practices

Topics: Migration, Institutional Theory, Total Quality Management, Spanish Electricity Sector
Year: 2011
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