Institutional isomorphism and public sector organizations

Peter Frumkin, Joseph Galaskiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

293 Scopus citations


Although public sector organizations have long been seen as driving the institutionalization of business firms and nonprofit organizations, government agencies themselves have only occasionally been studied as subjects of institutional pressures. This research examines whether public sector organizations, when compared with organizations in the business and nonprofit sectors, are more or less as susceptible to mimetic, normative, and coercive pressures. Using data from the National Organizations Study, we discover that governmental organizations are in fact more vulnerable to all three types of institutional forces than other organizations, whereas the effect of institutional variables on for-profits and nonprofits is more sporadic. The susceptibility of public sector organizations to institutional pressures raises important questions for the field of public administration and has consequences for nonprofits and business firms, which are funded and regulated by government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-307
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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