Diversification of an Organisational Field: How Europe Promotes and Hampers Domestic Change

FNI Report 6/2008. Lysaker, FNI, 2008, 28 p.

Better understanding of Europeanisation requires research on national, societal change. This paper presents a theoretical framework that enables assessment of Europeanised change processes within national industries. Empirically it explores how European Union (EU) state aid regulations and European renewable energy trends in conjunction led to diversification among Norwegian stationary energy producers. Key theoretical implications are as follows: (1) The pattern of interaction between change impulses from the European environment, governmental hierarchical steering and institutional logics within the national organisational field was crucial to the output of the change process. (2) Misfit between institutional logics at the European level and the organisational field hampers change, rather than promoting it. (3) The carriers – the actors that bring the European impulses into the organisational field – matter because they translate change impulses in line with their institutional logic. (4) National politicians are unable to control the process of translating these impulses, and that reduces their political clout. (5) Europeanisation brings greater challenges to national democratic governance of liberalised industries.