Robert J. David

The Evolution of Issue Interpretation within Organizational Fields: Buffering versus Integrating Framing of Environmental Issues in Civil Aviation”

We seek to understand how actors’ interpretations of issues evolve over time within fields, and what factors contribute to heterogeneity in these interpretations. Empirically, we examine how groups of actors in the field of civil aviation interpreted environmental issues over the period 1998-2010. Actors employed various cultural frames to interpret environmental issues as these rose and fell in prominence within the field. We develop a framework to track actors’ framing trajectories over time, in particular the extent to which these frames reveal actors’ stance towards buffering versus integrating issues into their core operations, and describe four such prototypical framing trajectories. We find that actors’ framing trajectories were influenced by their positions within the field, which in turn were reshuffled by the rise and fall of issue salience at the field level. By linking actor framing trajectories to field-level cycles of issue salience, our study contributes to current literature on issue interpretation and sources of heterogeneity within organizational fields.

Location: ESSEC Cergy Campus, N231 (Le Club)
Date: March. 24th at 10h00 
Attendance: Clink here