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Imprinting beyond the founding phase: how sedimented imprints develop over time

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Title: Imprinting beyond the founding phase: how sedimented imprints develop over time
Authors: De Cuyper, L
Clarysse, B
Phillips, N
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: In this study, we go back to some of the fundamental ideas of Selznick and Stinchcombe about how organizations bear a lasting imprint of their founding context, and about how characteristics shaped during founding are coherently carried forward. To do so, we draw on an ethnography of a social venture where the entrepreneurs left soon after founding. In examining how an initial organizational imprint evolves beyond a venture’s founding phase, we focus on the actions and interactions of organizational members, the founders’ imprint, the venture’s new leadership and the external environment. The process model we develop shows how the organizational imprint evolves as a consequence of the interplay between top-down and bottom-up forces. We first find that the initial imprint is transmitted through a bottom-up mechanism of imprint reinforcement, and second, that the venture is re-imprinted after the founding period through two processes which we call imprint reforming and imprint coupling. The result of this is the formation of a sedimented imprint. Our findings further illuminate that although the initial imprint sticks, its function and manifestation changes over time.
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance: 5-Jan-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/76827
DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2020.1372
ISSN: 1047-7039
Publisher: INFORMS
Start Page: 1579
End Page: 1600
Journal / Book Title: Organization Science
Volume: 33
Issue: 6
Copyright Statement: Copyright © 2020, INFORMS.
Keywords: Social Sciences
Management
Business & Economics
imprinting
organizational values
old institutional theory
social venture
ethnography
ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS
STRATEGIC CHANGE
IRON CAGE
IDENTITY
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
INSTITUTIONS
ETHNOGRAPHY
EVOLUTION
KNOWLEDGE
TURNOVER
Business & Management
1503 Business and Management
1505 Marketing
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2020-10-21
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School