Both authors have contributed equally to this paper. Authorship is in alphabetical order.
Agency, Institutional Change, and Continuity: The Case of the Finnish Civil War
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies
Journal of Management Studies
Special Issue: Business History Edited by Mary O'sullivan, Margaret B. W. Graham and Christopher Mckenna
Volume 47, Issue 5, pages 814–836, July 2010
How to Cite
Lamberg, J.-A. and Pajunen, K. (2010), Agency, Institutional Change, and Continuity: The Case of the Finnish Civil War. Journal of Management Studies, 47: 814–836. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2010.00925.x
- Issue published online: 13 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
The purpose of this paper is to study the role of individual agency in the process of institutional change. We conducted a historical study to explore the motivations and activities of two prominent individuals in business and politics before, during, and after the Finnish Civil War. Our most important finding is that the improvised actions of individuals with complex interests were causally related to long-term institutional changes. Specifically, our study contributes to theory development in the field of institutional analysis by showing how individual actors can be a mechanism for both institutional continuity and change. On the practical side, our account can help managers understand the power of improvised activities in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty, especially if there is the possibility of acting in concert.