PhD Defence: Hendra Wijaya

In his dissertation ‘Praise the Lord! Infusing Values and Emotions into Neo-Institutional Theory’ Hendra Wijaya extends the neglected yet essential concepts of values and emotions into the phenomenological foundations of neo-institutional theory.

Hendra Wijaya defended his dissertation in the Senate Hall at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Thursday, 4 April 2019 at 11:30. His supervisors were Prof. Pursey Heugens (RSM) and Prof. Joep Cornelissen (RSM). Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Prof. Mark de Rond (Cambridge University), Prof. Trish Reay (University of Alberta) and Dr. Frank H. Wijen (RSM).

About Hendra Wijaya

Hendra R. Wijaya obtained his Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in Business Research from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), Erasmus University and Master of Science (MSc) degree in Business Administration from the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University.

In pursuit of his PhD, Hendra has presented his work at multiple international conferences, including the Academy of Management (AOM) Conference and the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium, and was a visiting scholar at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta for an accumulative 6-month period in 2016 and 2017.

Hendra’s intellectual interest lies in understanding how values and emotions function in institutional processes. Drawing on qualitative methods, primarily ethnography, his investigation is focused on the lived experiences of actors in highly exclusive and secretive environments. His first academic paper, in collaboration with Prof. Pursey Heugens, has been published at Organization Studies, Special Themed Section: Emotions and Institutions. His single-authored book chapter will be published at The Routledge Companion to Anthropology in Management.

Thesis Abstract

Values and emotions are an integral part of actors who inhabit institutions. Their importance, however, has been overlooked in the literature on microfoundations of neo-institutional theory, harboring the risks of falling back to the conceptualization of social actors as value-free, rational agents. In this dissertation, I seek to understand the depth and breadth of actors’ values and emotions in institutional processes through a 212-day ethnographic study of multiple religious organizations in Indonesia.

Through two empirical studies I have managed to infuse the neglected yet essential concepts of values and emotions into the phenomenological foundations of neo-institutional theory. Specifically, I offer a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic mechanisms of how values and emotions are connected, how they are translated into different types of institutional work, and how their galvanizing power is restricted by systemic power or institutional contexts. Finally, findings from these studies carry relevant and far-reaching implications for corporate or governmental organizations whose leaders have absolute power over their followers or whose institutional contexts vary from facile to hostile.

Photos: Chris Gorzeman / Capital Images