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The Role Of Practices In Institutional Change The Evolution Of Doctoral Programs In France 1990 – 2008


  • Aubépine Dahan

    () (LATTS - Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Charles Dhanaraj

    () (Kelley School of Business - Indiana University [Bloomington])

  • Vincent Mangematin

    () (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM))


Whether based on the figure of institutional entrepreneur or the dynamic of social movements, models of institutional change have yet to solve the paradox of embedded agency. Studying institutional change from the angle of practices allows introducing a channel by which seeds of change enter the field without modifying logics at first. Political entrepreneurship or grassroots initiative will play a critical role in institutional change as long as they can rely on existing practices. Evolution of conditions to perform day to day activities introduces new problems; solutions trigger the development of new activities. Routinization of new activities leads the emergence of new practices. Non-adoption of practices hinders institutional change. Practices thus inspire, support and limit institutional change. Basing our observations from a case study of the French Doctorate defined as an institution, shifting from research and study to professionalizing diploma, we build a process model of institutional change integrating the dynamic of practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Aubépine Dahan & Charles Dhanaraj & Vincent Mangematin, 2010. "The Role Of Practices In Institutional Change The Evolution Of Doctoral Programs In France 1990 – 2008," Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management hal-00526721, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:gemwpa:hal-00526721
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