A Myth Materialized: Occupational Projects and the Recoupling of Reform in a Finnish High School

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


When external institutional structures in the form of laws, regulations, and policies do not serve the practical needs of organizations, they can respond by decoupling formal structure from organizational practice. Furthermore, occupational communities often resist external pressures to change. How can reform happen in a loosely coupled professional setting where there is little managerial influence over the content of work? My ethnographic study of a Finnish school finds that instead of decoupling practice from educational reform, teachers worked to overcome challenges related to digitalizing classroom practice. In contrast to prior research on recoupled practices, this happened in the absence of external efficiency criteria or strong managerial control. I find actors engagement in occupational projects supported by appropriate spaces and roles in professional networks led to recoupling occupational practice to institutional structures defined by educational reform. These findings have implications for understanding decoupling in organizations and the role of occupational identity in micro-level institutional change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventAcademy of Management Annual Meeting -
Duration: 1 Jan 1940 → …


ConferenceAcademy of Management Annual Meeting
Period01/01/1940 → …

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Myth Materialized: Occupational Projects and the Recoupling of Reform in a Finnish High School'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this