The influence of institutional pressures on the implementation of a performance measurement system in an Egyptian social enterprise

Loai Alsaid, Charles Ambilichu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
214 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study aims to explore the influence of field-level funding pressure and resource dependency on conflicting institutional logics in implementing a new performance measurement system (PMS) within a privatised social enterprise (SE) in a developing country. It answers the research question: how accounting-based key performance indicators (KPIs) were chosen within a privatised SE to maintain co-existence between two different institutional logics, the social and commercial logics, to gain legitimacy in the government funding scheme. Design/methodology/approach: This study expands the application and contribution of the Besharov and Smith’s (2014) logics multiplicity framework to previous management accounting literature on PMS and institutional logics. It adds a new dimension to previous literature to theorise the cognitive dynamics of institutional logics at three distinct but interrelated institutional levels, namely, field, organisational and individual. Data come from an interpretive case study of an Egyptian SE, involved in implementing a social project (drinking water refining) in rural communities. Findings: PMS acts as a political tool through which the privatised case company has gained societal acceptance and legitimacy in the government funding scheme. Its non-political KPIs have turned into political tools to meet the institutional demands of the funding scheme. This government involvement represents field-level institutional logics, which influenced the organisational-level interplay of commercial and social logics and then the individual-level choice of internal KPIs. This contributes to the fact that institutional logics and their interplay between these three levels are “in a state of flux” within SEs’ internal PMS. Originality/value: This study deals with a real-life practical case that proves the prevalence of one institutional logic over another at both the organisational and individual levels may be occasioned by organisational field pressures and opportunities rather than by other intra-organisational conflicts as discussed in most previous literature on PMS and institutional logics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-83
Number of pages31
JournalQualitative Research in Accounting & Management
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2021

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  • Social enterprises
  • Performance measurement systems
  • Government involvement
  • Institutional logics
  • Key performance indicators
  • Egypt
  • Performance measurement system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Business and International Management


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