Resuming an unfinished tale: applying causal maps to analyze the dominant logics within an organization

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In aiming to understand how structures, such as rules, norms, and routines, establish inside organizations, scholars now focus their explanation on practitioners who enact a multitude of behavioral logics. Studies adopting this institutional logic perspective apply assumptions about the apparency and dominance of logics and consequently cannot adequately explain, with empirical evidence, how logics coexist or compete for dominance among practitioners. To fill this gap, we open these concepts up to recent academic inquiry as to the dominant logics that practitioners enact. In so doing, we address the still unanswered call by Von Krogh and Roos to collect empirical evidence on dominant logics by operationalizing two concepts: self-reference and self-similarity. We introduce a methodology that involves causal mapping enhanced with statistical tests and graphical approaches. Through an empirical investigation, we show how this method provides the enacted patterns of multiple logics, validates their dominance, and detects internal contradictions and inconsistencies. These findings highlight that if one defines dominant logics in terms of self-reference and self-similarity, causal mapping then generates competing and coexisting logics that practitioners enact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-349
Number of pages24
JournalOrganizational research methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • IR-100856
  • METIS-312054

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