Coping with multiple institutional logics: temporal process of institutional work during the emergence of the one foundation in China

Yuhuan Liu, Chenjian Zhang, Runtian Jing

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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An increasing body of research has applied an institutional perspective to understand actors’ responses to conflicting institutional logics and the creation process of new organizational forms. Although China provides a natural, real-time laboratory to study this topic, few empirical research have been done. Moreover, we find it is insufficient to apply current frameworks, which have been mainly driven by studies conducted in Western contexts, to study actors’ responses to institutional multiplicity in China, especially in its emerging non-profit sector. This paper fills research gaps by providing an in-depth case analysis of the creation and legitimation process of One Foundation − the first independent charity fundraising foundation established by civic individuals in China. Our study shows that the coexisting and competing relationship among state, civil society, social mission, and market logics provides impetus for organizational change and innovation. This paper theorizes a temporal model by showing that actors seek provisional solutions in different organizational stages and gradually develop capabilities to progress institutional work from individual to organizational and to societal level to achieve their goals. By showing how a charity foundation plays a role as a changing agent, this paper also sheds lights on the condition and process that drive innovation in China’s non-profit sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-416
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016



  • institutional logics
  • institutional work
  • social entrepreneurship
  • temporal process
  • non-profit sector

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