Journal article

The multiple dynamics of isomorphic change: Australian Law Schools 1987-1996

P Woelert, G Croucher

Minerva: a review of science, learning and policy | Springer Verlag | Published : 2018


The theory of institutional isomorphism has been criticized for overemphasizing organizational convergence and neglecting organizational divergence. Drawing on a range of empirical data, this paper shows that multi-dimensional accounts of isomorphic change are not necessarily incompatible with accounts emphasizing divergence as typical form of organizational response to environmental uncertainties. The specific case investigated is the proliferation of academic organizational units (AOUs) teaching Law at Australian universities over a ten-year period (1987-1996) that saw far-reaching structural transformations of the Australian university system. The key heuristic strategy employed in this p..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors contributed equally to this article. We are grateful for financial support from the Australian Research Council (Discovery Grant DP140102874) and the University of Melbourne (Early Career Researchers Grant, Peter Woelert). We thank Michael Crommelin, Georg Krucken and two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. We also thank Lachlan McKenzie for research assistance.