Being apart together: convergence and divergence in the field of Dutch politics

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Organizations from the same industry or field often tend to become more
similar over time, despite being different in terms of for example strategies,
goals, or performance. However, recently scholars pointed out that organizational
fields are dynamic entities with permeable boundaries, thus indicating
that prior literature may have oversimplified the phenomenon. Indeed, in this
paper we draw attention to an organizational field that centers on text, and AU:2
revolves around shared (or debated) meaning stemming from that text. The
guiding research question is, “To what extent do organizations converge or
diverge from meaning embedded in interconnected text?” We investigate
party manifestos and press releases of organizations from the field of politics,
focusing on the topic of immigration. We extract meaning from these texts,
using document scaling and similarity analysis. Our results show that while
most parties become more similar in their framing of immigration, the
anti-immigrant PVV actually radicalizes further and as a result takes an
isolated position in the policy space. Thus, Dutch political organizations
became similar (converge) as well as different (diverge) over time through
interaction, in terms of their shared meaning systems. This paper substantiates
findings of isomorphic tendencies of organizations within a shared organizational field. At the same time, we find that Dutch politics constitute
an issue field, where parties compete about meanings and framings on controversial issues. Our analysis shows that meaning embedded in texts changes over time; this indicates that change mechanisms in organizational fields may be brought about through changes in meaning systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-64
JournalResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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industry
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title = "Being apart together: convergence and divergence in the field of Dutch politics",
abstract = "Organizations from the same industry or field often tend to become moresimilar over time, despite being different in terms of for example strategies,goals, or performance. However, recently scholars pointed out that organizationalfields are dynamic entities with permeable boundaries, thus indicatingthat prior literature may have oversimplified the phenomenon. Indeed, in thispaper we draw attention to an organizational field that centers on text, and AU:2revolves around shared (or debated) meaning stemming from that text. Theguiding research question is, “To what extent do organizations converge ordiverge from meaning embedded in interconnected text?” We investigateparty manifestos and press releases of organizations from the field of politics,focusing on the topic of immigration. We extract meaning from these texts,using document scaling and similarity analysis. Our results show that whilemost parties become more similar in their framing of immigration, theanti-immigrant PVV actually radicalizes further and as a result takes anisolated position in the policy space. Thus, Dutch political organizationsbecame similar (converge) as well as different (diverge) over time throughinteraction, in terms of their shared meaning systems. This paper substantiatesfindings of isomorphic tendencies of organizations within a shared organizational field. At the same time, we find that Dutch politics constitutean issue field, where parties compete about meanings and framings on controversial issues. Our analysis shows that meaning embedded in texts changes over time; this indicates that change mechanisms in organizational fields may be brought about through changes in meaning systems.",
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Being apart together: convergence and divergence in the field of Dutch politics. / van Atteveldt, W.H.; Moser, C.; Welbers, K.

In: Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 53, 10.2017, p. 49-64.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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