F. (Fouad) El Osrouti MSc

Fouad El Osrouti
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Logistics & Information Systems
Affiliated since 2017

PhD Track Norms versus Organizational Practices: Essays in the Context of Innovation, Standardization, and Religion

Norms and practices are to be found across levels of analyses and are interrelated. Norms can be the input for practices, and conversely practices may shape and change norms. At the same time, norms and practices can collide as in the case of implementing new organizational practices. In this dissertation I’ve aimed to further investigate this dynamic interrelation and answer the overarching research question: How do the dynamic configurations of norms and organizational practices interact across levels of analysis? I’ve found that norms and organizational practices can interact within organizations (intra-organizational), across organizations (inter-organizational), and from society into organizations (societal-organizational).

Within organizations such as multi-unit firms, implementing new organizational practices across business units comes with the challenge of navigating between replication and adaptation, i.e., replicating the original practice elements or adapting these to the local norms and practices. I’ve shed light on this replication-adaptation decision by unpacking the processes that unfold before, during, and after these decisions. The findings show that both source and recipient units, as a dyad, actively engage in several adaptation processes, cope with misfits through distinct mechanisms, and that these dynamic processes are shaped by the source unit’s strategy and recipient unit’s power.

Organizing across organizational boundaries comes with different norm-practice dynamics. Specifically in the context of standardization, where diverse stakeholder groups set and maintain a norm (standard), various practice mechanisms can legitimize and dispute the legitimacy of the standard. I find that the involvement of a diverse set of stakeholders isn’t decisive to legitimize the standard when disputed, whereas the practice of involving merely experts can hurt the stability and future legitimacy of the standard.

Finally, norms from society can permeate and impact organizations and its practices as well. By shedding light on norms stemming from the Islamic religion we find that their impact on Business and Management is centered around four dimensions: religious fundaments, individuals, organizations, and external environment. Across these dimensions religious norms (and practices) impact organizations through both abstract and concrete guidelines and across individual and organizational dimensions. Moreso, the distinct contemporary approaches to study this phenomenon are mutually dependent to further develop this research field and strengthen our understanding of the interrelation between religious norms and practices in the context of business and management.

Organizational practices, innovation, replication, adaptation, standardisation, process perspective, legitimacy, islam, business ethics, systematic literature review
Time frame
2017 -


  • Internal (1)
    • el Osrouti, F. (2024). Norms versus organizational practices: Essays in the context of innovation, standardization, and religion. [Doctoral Thesis, Erasmus University Rotterdam]. Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).


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