Exploring the connection between emotions, artefacts and institutional work: the case of institutional change for public fadlities management
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2022
Public Facilities Malmanagement (PFM) is currently moving from being an institution driven by ad-hoc practices to now introducing long-term and strategic practices. During this institutional change, human actors engage in institutional work to create new practices. However, old practices seem to be maintained within PFM to a large extend. Why? Data were collected through case studies in two public facilities management organizations, an interview study in eight organizations from the institution of PFM and a workshop with representatives from the institutional field of PFM. Findings show how the changing institutional setting for the institution of PFM produce negative emotions. To manage these, human actors engage in institutional work and here they employ artefacts as means to drive change. These artefacts functioned in various ways to reduce negative feelings by inducing a sense of safety (as soft blankets), by enabling the avoidance of dealing with 'the truth' (as shields) and by offering hope (as a vision of perfect future). Thereby, they did not take part in creating change, as much as they took part in maintaining current practices. The unintended consequences of the usage of artefacts, explain why practices are maintained during institutional change for PFM.