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Durham e-Theses
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Southern Fair Trade Organisations and Institutional Logics

MCCONWAY, MANUSH (2017) Southern Fair Trade Organisations and Institutional Logics. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This work is a case study of a Southern Fair Trade Organisation (SFTO), with the objective of uncovering the complexities of working within Fair Trade (FT) and Mainstream Markets (MM) simultaneously. It employs the concept of ‘institutional logics’ (IL) to analyse and suggest resolutions to the mainstreaming dilemma from an organisational perspective.

The SFTO chosen for the case study is Allpa, based in Lima, Peru, which has been operating in the market for 30 years. The research questions addressed were:

1. What is an organisation’s experience of dealing with multiple logics?
2. How does an organisation respond to potential tensions and contradictions arising from being surrounded by multiple logics?
3. How is the organisation’s identity shaped in the process?

This research makes a contribution to both FT and IL literature by illuminating the complex setting of SFTOs in which the logics of FT, MM and Local Producers (LP) are all prominent. I found that organisational structure, communication and flexibility can change how an organisation experiences logic multiplicity. Through changing its organisational structure and communication methods, Allpa has managed to increase the degree of compatibility between the different logics. As a result, Allpa has combined and blended the three logics creating a hybrid organisational form with a new identity and has become a translator between two different worlds. The study also found that organisational leadership is a significant determinant of the organisational experience of institutional complexity, and hence the response to it.

This study makes a contribution to IL theory through identifying three institutional logics, and highlighting the “bottom up” influence of one of the logics. This work illustrates the dynamics of responding to multiple logics “on the ground”, and has implications for FT research and practice.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Fair Trade, Mainstreaming, Southern Fair Trade Organisation, artisan, handicraft, Institutional Logics, multiple logics, logic multiplicity, hybrid organisations, Institutional complexity, Peru, case study
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 Feb 2017 10:31

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