The interplay of agencies in institutional disruption. The slow death of asbestos in France
Peton, Hélène; Blanc, Antoine (2011), The interplay of agencies in institutional disruption. The slow death of asbestos in France, 2011 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, 2011-08, San Antonio, États-Unis
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title2011 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Conference citySan Antonio
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Abstract (EN)Although central to many debates in neo-institutional theories, the concept of agency still remains fairly ambiguous and sometimes elusive. In particular, the agency concept tends to conflate two different phenomena, the power of agency (the capacity to act in a given social context) and agentic power (the capacity to act independently of structural constraints). The paper explores the interplay between these two types of agency in the slow abandonment of asbestos in France from 1970 to 1997. Based on archival data and interviews, we graphically reconstitute a deinstitutionalization process composed of a series of actions. As an important contribution, the paper puts to light a pattern where different types of agencies are combined in a momentum. Peripheral actors bring agentic power to another actor in the field who then induce different kinds of efforts supported by power of agency. Thus, agency is circulating and being transformed from an actor to another. The slow abandonment of asbestos is explained by the dispersion of agentic power: actors tend to be incorporated in the consensus they have contributed to bring out, weakening their agentic power.
Subjects / KeywordsMouvements sociaux; Désinstitutionnalisation
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