Measuring institutional pressures in a supply chain context: scale development and testing

Katri Kauppi*, Davide Luzzini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Increasing amount of empirical research in operations and supply chain management is using institutional theory as its theoretical lens. Yet, a common scale to measure the three institutional pressures – coercive, mimetic and normative – is lacking. Many studies use proxies or a single, grouped, construct of external pressures which present methodological challenges. This study aims to present the development of multi-item scales to measure institutional pressures (in a purchasing context). Design/methodology/approach: First, items were generated based on the theoretical construct definitions. These items were then tested through academic sorting and an international survey. The first empirical testing failed to produce reliable and valid scales, and further refinement and analysis revealed that coercive pressure splits into two separate constructs. A second q-sorting was then conducted with purchasing practitioners, followed by another survey in Italy to verify the new measurement scale for four institutional pressures. Findings: The multimethod and multistage measurement development reveals that empirically the three institutional pressures actually turn into four pressures. The theoretical construct of coercive pressure splits into two distinct constructs: coercive market pressure and coercive regulatory pressure. Originality/value: The results of the paper, namely, the measurement scales, are an important theoretical and methodological contribution to future empirical research. They present a much-needed measurement for these theoretical constructs increasingly used in management research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-107
Number of pages29
JournalSupply Chain Management
Issue number7
Early online date4 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Institutional pressures
  • Institutional theory
  • Purchasing
  • Q-sorting
  • Scale development
  • Survey research
  • Surveys
  • Theories


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