This article introduces the concept of “flexible reactivity” to describe and analyze a form of economic actors' response to multiple judgment devices. Using the example of government regulation in the Tuscan wine industry, we show that wineries can in part comply with the government's quality classifications system while, at the same time, also offering products outside the official classification system. Through this research, we provide novel insights into the role of judgment devices and contribute to a more nuanced understanding of organizational responses to institutional pressures. Extending prior institutional-complexity research, our study illustrates that organizations' reactions to judgment devices are not limited to only the two options of either acquiescence or defiance. The third option—flexibile reactivity—encompasses an explicit combination of acquiescence and defiance at the actor level. Our findings shed new light on how organizations can cope with contradictory external demands such that contrasting logics compete for organizational resources and breed heterogeneous and continuously shifting product offerings.
- economic sociology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science