Colonization and different types of institutional change: findings from an ex-British colony

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    This paper analyzes institutional change during the British colonial period (1878–1960) and briefly after independence in Cyprus and discusses different types of institutional transformations and the features of resulting institutions and the likely effects on organizations. By doing this, it aims to contribute to management and organization studies by adopting the view that institutionalization is an inherently historical process and may be better understood through historical analysis. The institutions considered are the legal system, education and industrial relations. Findings suggest that incremental processes of change led to both evolutionary and radical changes in institutions and that the type of institutional transformations included replacement, displacement and layering. Resulting institutions at the end of the colonial period are characterized by uniformity, bipolarism and diversity, and these features offer more ‘socioeconomic space’ for organizations to function in. Similar shifts in respective institutions are expected in other ex-colonies, and these institutional features are likely to differentiate, it is argued, ex-colonies from socioeconomically similar countries that did not go through colonial rule.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalManagement and Organizational History
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


    • British
    • colonialism
    • Cyprus
    • institutional change
    • Institutions


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