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Theorization of Institutional Change in the Rise of Artificial Intelligence


  • Masashi Goto

    (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University, JAPAN)


This study explores how professional institutional change is theorized in the context of the emergence of disruptive technology as a precipitating jolt. I conducted a case study of two Big four accounting firms in Japan on their initiatives to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to their core audit services between 2015 and 2017. The data shows the process for incumbent dominant organizations to collaborate and develop social perceptions about the changing but continuing relevance of their profession. The analysis suggests that the retheorization can advance even without concrete alternative templates when disruptive technology is perceived to have overwhelming influences, following multi-level steps progressing from internal to external theorization. This article proposes a grounded theory model of the process of professional institutional change: (1) Theorizing change internally at the field, (2) Developing solutions by experimentations in organizations, (3) Exploring solutions driven by individuals in organizations and (4) Theorizing change externally by organizations. It contributes to the profession and institutional scholarship by expanding our knowledge about the diversity of professional institutional field change process in this age of increasing technology influences on organizations.

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  • Masashi Goto, 2020. "Theorization of Institutional Change in the Rise of Artificial Intelligence," Discussion Paper Series DP2020-12, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2020-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bertrand Malsch & Yves Gendron, 2013. "Re-Theorizing Change: Institutional Experimentation and the Struggle for Domination in the Field of Public Accounting," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(5), pages 870-899, July.
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    5. Petrakaki, Dimitra & Klecun, Ela & Cornford, Tony, 2016. "Changes in healthcare professional work afforded by technology: the introduction of a national electronic patient record in an English hospital," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59475, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Daniel Muzio & David M. Brock & Roy Suddaby, 2013. "Professions and Institutional Change: Towards an Institutionalist Sociology of the Professions," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(5), pages 699-721, July.
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    Institutional change; Professions; Artificial intelligence; Qualitative research; Grounded theory;
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