Institutional Resilience in Extreme Operating Environments: The Role of Institutional Work


Authors: Luciano Barin Cruz, Natalia Aguilar Delgado, Bernard Leca, and Jean-Pascal Gond
Publication: Extreme Operating Environments, Special Topic Forum


This study shows how institutional work contributes to institutional resilience in extreme operating environments (EOEs). The authors draw from a longitudinal analysis of the operations of Desjardins International Development (DID), a French Canadian nongovernmental organization (NGO) that, both before and after the major earthquake of 2010, supported the implementation of cooperative banking in Haiti. Building on a unique access to DID’s internal documents as well as on 49 interviews with DID employees, the authors highlight the ways in which political, technical, and cultural forms of institutional work triggered the emergence of social capital, which in turn supported the rise of new forms of institutional work that enabled institutional resilience. The results show how organizational activities focused on shaping institutions may have unintended effects that enable institutional resilience in EOEs, and demonstrate how the accumulation of institutional work by an organization contributes to the enhancement of its social capital.

Read abstract: Business & Society, Forthcoming