Institutional Logics and Diverging Organizational Forms: An Empirical Study in Russia




Institutional Logics, Russia, Social Service, NGO, Microfoundations


Using an institutional logics approach, this study investigates how the institutional logics of leaders of grassroots social service nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia changed over time and how these changes related to changes in organizational mission, people served, professionalization, and interactions with the government. Relying on interviews as well as other data gathered, this analysis of organizational leaders’ narratives reveals the identities and experiences that these leaders turn to in their sensemaking of significant events. The findings show that, on the one hand, social welfare NGOs continued to provide services, increased their advocacy efforts, and professionalized their staff. Volunteer organizations, on the other hand, discontinued provision of social services turning instead to the recruitment and development of volunteers. Theoretically, this empirical case illustrates how an interplay of factors at multiple levels can affect the expression of logics at the organizational level.

Author Biography

  • Maria V. Wathen, Loyola University Chicago

    Maria V. Wathen is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Her research expertise spans the areas of poverty and policy, global comparative social policy and service, and social service nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)/nonprofits.






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