The Role of Professionals in Deinstitutionalization: A Comparative Study of the Danish and French Construction Industry



The point of departure for this paper is an interesting observation of variance in Denmark and France. The use of prefabricated elements, a construction practice that was regarded as highly innovative in the 1950s, followed the same steps of institutionalization in both countries until about 1960. Then it became fully institutionalized in Denmark and was abandoned in France as a fad and fashion. We explore five hypotheses from neo-institutional theory to explain this outcome.

They are the dominant institutional logic, local conditions of production, path-dependency, national legislation, and the agency of professionals. The findings point to interaction among the last four variables with professionals playing a determinant role at the final junction of the institutionalization process as represented by Greenwood et al. (2002). Professionals and other actors influenced the choice of direction by harnessing the other four factors and using them to advance their own interests.

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Pursey Heugens