A Little Change Goes a Long Way: An Institutional Perspective on Change Processes in a Family Firm

Klein, Aleksandra; Posch, Arthur (August 2017). A Little Change Goes a Long Way: An Institutional Perspective on Change Processes in a Family Firm. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1), p. 15716. Academy of Management 10.5465/AMBPP.2017.15716abstract

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In this paper we provide both a theoretical and empirical perspective on change processes in a medium-sized family firm. Incorporating recent developments in institutional theory such as heterogeneity and practice variations, this study suggests a more dynamic, process-oriented interpretation of institutional theory. We specifically zoom in on the role of family members as change agents that are capable of overcoming embedded agency. We extend research on change management by explicitly addressing the paradox of embedded agency during change processes. Based on institutional theory and insights from prior literature on management accounting change we derive a framework to construe change processes. In doing so we highlight the crucial role of institutional contradictions and the emergence of reflective change agents as precursors for institutional change. In a second step we present the findings of an in-depth case study, in which we apply our framework to interpret management accounting changes in a family firm whose managing family members are subject to competing and contradicting institutional logics.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute for Accounting and Controlling > Controlling

UniBE Contributor:

Posch, Arthur


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Academy of Management




Lynn Carole Selhofer

Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2019 14:27

Last Modified:

16 Jul 2019 14:27

Publisher DOI:




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