The effects of interests and institutional influences on organizational adoptions over time and across practices
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The purpose of my dissertation is to examine the effects of interests and carriers of institutional influences on the adoption of three organizational practices that have become varyingly diffused and socially accepted over time. Drawing on theories of agency, power, social networks, and institutions, I argue that the effects of actors’ interests and carriers of institutional influences on adoption will be moderated by evolving degrees of social acceptance of a practice. This is because as social acceptance for a practice changes over time, it will not only influence actors’ interests and their ability to enact them but also determine the effectiveness of different carriers of social influences, and consequently, determine how these factors will affect adoption. For actors’ interests, I examine the effects of managerial power, managerial incentives, and institutional shareholders’ influence on adoption over time. For carriers of institutional influences, I examine the effects of social ties and prestigious endorsement on adoption over time. To test my hypotheses, I examine the adoptions of tender offer takeovers, poison pill takeover defenses, and executive stock option repricing using separate samples of companies listed on the Fortune 500 Largest U.S. Industrials (F500) between 1980 and 2004. I collect longitudinal data and conduct event history analysis to test my hypotheses. The results of this study offer some support for changing effects of actors’ interests and carriers of institutional influences on adoption as the degree of social acceptance for a practice evolves. In sum, this study provides a more nuanced understanding of the relative roles of interests and institutional influences on adoption as the social environment changes.