Power and performance: the rise and fall of an institutional entrepreneur

ChunLei Yang, Sven Modell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how performance measurement and
management (PMM) practices are implicated in the exercise of power in
organizations through the theoretical lens of institutional entrepreneurship.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper builds on a longitudinal field study in a
Chinese local government department conducted over a period of six years.
Findings – The incomplete shift between moral- and merit-based performance logics
in the Chinese government sector fostered opportunities for institutional
entrepreneurship and power struggles in the organization under examination. The
institutional entrepreneur initially balanced successfully between these logics, but was
ultimately forced to resign as the power relationships forged through her
manoeuvering were radically reversed. This process was intricately intertwined with
the construction of shifting conceptions of her performance engendered by the
ambiguity associated with the incomplete shift between performance logics.
Research implications – The paper explores the intricate relationships between
power and PMM whilst shedding new light on the possibilities of balancing between
different aspects of performance and how notions of performance are shaped through
impression management.
Originality/value – The paper explores the relational properties of the notion of
power implicated in PMM whilst extending the analysis to unravel opaque political
processes, generally ignored in prior, related research, and addressing the issue of
what determines successful institutional entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAsia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference proceedings 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAsia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference (APIRA) - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 5 Jul 20108 Jul 2010


ConferenceAsia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference (APIRA)
CitySydney, Australia


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