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What is institutional isomorphism?

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When institutions are said to be isomorphic, it means that they are similar in practice and procedure. This can occur due to one organization imitating another or developing independently but under similar circumstances. The word "isomorphic" comes from the Greek "iso," meaning "equal," and "morphosis" meaning "to form." The prevailing theory of institutional isomorphism maintains that any organization, regardless of how unique it sets out to be, will eventually operate in much the same way as other organizations of its kind. Institutional isomorphism has three sub-categories:

Normative isomorphism occurs when organizations must conform to professional standards in order to continue as a competitive force in their network, such as licensing or employee standards.

Mimetic isomorphism occurs when the organization elects to mimic another, namely one that is leading in a market. This is typically done when the best independent course of action seems unclear.

Coercive isomorphism occurs when...

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