Responding to institutional complexity: Reputation and crisis management in Danish municipalities

Finn Frandsen, Winni Johansen, Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen


This article investigates how and provides tentative explanations of why reputation and crisis management—defined as two different yet not incompatible sets of ideas stemming from the same institutional logic—have been institutionalized in the public sector in Denmark. More specifically, we examine whether reputation and crisis management become integrated (coupling) or not (decoupling) as disciplines after having being introduced to the individual organizations. The empirical context is the organizational field of Danish municipalities. Based on both quantitative and qualitative data, including, an elite survey conducted among administrative actors from the municipalities and communication plans, the analysis found that although reputation and crisis management per se are widely disseminated within the field, they are neither entirely institutionalized nor strongly coupled.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413