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Mediating Human Rights-based Change in an Authoritarian State

Hu, Yanfei and Rerup, Claus (2017) Mediating Human Rights-based Change in an Authoritarian State Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017 (1), 11347.

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Institutional change is a key topic in organization study, but we know surprisingly little about how such change unfolds in change-resistant authoritarian countries. We use a historical study of the efforts by an international non-governmental organization, the Ford Foundation, to mediate human rights-based change in China. Mediated change is the process through which a mediator uses subtle tactics to broker values and practices from one social world to another. We find that mediated change involves tactics that reduce local actors’ institutional embeddedness in authoritarianism (e.g., disembedding tactics), and tactics that enhance local actors’ embeddedness in rights-based values and practices (e.g., embedding tactics). Overall, the study not only demonstrates the importance of accounting for mediated institutional change processes, but also reveals new insights into under-theorized aspects of the paradox of embedded agency.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Rerup, Claus
Date : 1 August 2017
DOI : 10.5465/AMBPP.2017.106
Uncontrolled Keywords : Authoritarian state; Historical research; Institutional change
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 28 Jul 2020 14:44
Last Modified : 28 Jul 2020 14:44

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