Shifting logics of legitimation in the diffusion of complex innovations
AbstractLegitimation and competition are two major forces moulding organizational field and the diffusion of innovations. While discursive legitimation provides "rational justifications" for innovations, competition may incite organizations to acquire effective innovations preemptively. This paper draws on a case study of the legitimation and diffusion of a sophisticated medical technology to suggest that, in highly regulated environments, these two forces may interact, and that opposing legitimation strategies may be associated with competition. We argue that while convergent discursive legitimation strategies tend to speed up the diffusion process, divergent discursive legitimation strategies may have the opposite effect. The case suggests that the dominant logics of legitimation may shift, oscillating between convergence and divergence as an innovation diffuses. We also show how the resulting delays in diffusion may be pre-empted by a phenomenon we call institutional delinquency, that is when the moral and cognitive-cultural legitimacies of the technology among professionals and managers becomes sufficient to counteract regulatory forces.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Lausanne, Institute of Health Economics and Management (IEMS) in its series Working Papers with number 0703.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
technology; legitimation; institution; innovation; PET scanner; theorization; competition;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-10-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2007-10-13 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-INO-2007-10-13 (Innovation)
- NEP-KNM-2007-10-13 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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