2023 Conference (June 14-18, 2023)



Milo Shaoqing Wang 
Assistant Professor 
Arizona State University 

Shipeng Yan 
Assistant Professor
University of Hong Kong 


Amy Hillman 
Arizona State University 

Michael Lounsbury 
University of Alberta 

Jane Lu 
City University of Hong Kong 


• Yunzhou Du, Professor, Southeast University, yunzhou@seu.edu.cn
• Jianhua Ge, Associate Professor, Renmin University, gejianhua@rmbs.ruc.edu.cn
• Yifan Wei, Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba, yifan.wei@umanitoba.ca
• Ling Yang, Associate Professor, Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen), yangling2022@hit.edu.cn
• Chenjian Zhang, Associate Professor, University of Bath, c.zhang2@bath.ac.uk
• Cyndi Man Zhang, Associate Professor, Singapore Management University, cyndizhang@smu.edu.sg
• Rongrong Zhang, Assistant Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), zhangrongrong@cuhk.edu.cn
• Eric Yanfei Zhao, Associate Professor, Indiana University, ericzhao@indiana.edu


This two-part symposium is a continuation of a successful symposium on governance of institutions at the Academy of Management annual meeting (2022) organized and supported by the growing research community on the topic. In this symposium, we aim to encourage innovative and rigorous studies of the governance of corporate logic and order in the Chinese context. Overall, this symposium will consist of two components: (i) a dialogue between three leading management scholars—Amy Hillman, Michael Lounsbury, and Jane Lu—on how corporations should respond to the changing institutional environment and how such institutional change reshapes the governance of corporate logic; and (ii) breakout sessions involving experts who will facilitate discussions on the participants’ projects and challenges that researchers are experiencing in positioning, conceptualizing, and publishing their work in the intersection of governance and institutions, with a focus on the Chinese context.

Keywords: institutional logic, corporate governance, societal governance


Thirty years since Friedland and Alford’s (1991) original chapter, the institutional logics perspective has coalesced into a vibrant community of scholars, with an exponential growth of publications, and is widely recognized as a core perspective in organization theory (Lounsbury, Steele, Wang, & Toubiana, 2021; Thornton, Ocasio, & Lounsbury, 2012). Research has been conducted in a broad variety of commercial and public settings such as corporate governance (Greve & Zhang, 2017), socially responsible investing (Yan, Ferraro, & Almandoz, 2019), nonprofit organizing (Liu, Zhang, & Jing, 2016), microfinance lending (Zhao & Wry, 2016), corporate sustainability (York, Vedula, & Lenox, 2018), and competitive governments (Ho & Im, 2015). Scholars using this perspective have explored diverse empirical contexts and often conceptualized logics as “tools” (Lounsbury et al., 2021), focusing on the impact of logics on organizational practices in complex institutional settings. However, relatively little is known about institutional logics as “phenomena” in their own right (Lounsbury et al., 2021).

To understand institutional logics as complex, dynamic phenomena, we propose a research agenda that focuses on studying the governing dynamics of logics—in particular, the governance of corporate logic and order in the Chinese context. This focus could be especially timely for both theoretical and empirical reasons. Theoretically, instead of assuming corporate institutions as relatively stable and unchanging influences on firms and industries, a focus on governance will redirect our attention toward an underexamined theme of how various actors may (or may fail to) maintain the coherence and durability of corporate logic and its associated order. It is noteworthy that while the literature on corporate governance has produced fruitful studies of how different internal governance structures may prompt firms to better maximize shareholder value (Hillman & Keim, 2001; Inkpen & Sundaram, 2022), we know much less about how the emergence and evolution of corporate logic, which shapes the values and goals of corporate activities, relate to broader societal governance.

Empirically, after four decades of market transition, China has established its own distinct corporate logic, which is co-governed by a unique constellation and configuration of actors and institutions, including government agencies, market participants, family owners, emergent professionals, community organizations, as well as corporate actors themselves. However, in the face of rising grand challenges, such as climate change, social inequality, and rapid surges of nationalism and populism, among other global crises, conventional approaches to corporate governance has been challenged, leading to new corporate governance structures and a multitude of initiatives related to corporate social responsibility (CSR), environmental, social and governance (ESG), and social enterprise accreditation. In short, questions have arisen as to both how corporations should respond to the changing institutional environment and how such institutional change reshapes the governance of corporate logic.

While there is a burgeoning interest in using the institutional logic perspective to study the Chinese context (Thornton, Ocasio, & Lounsbury, 2020), the opportunity for more theorizing around the governance of corporate logic in China is abundant. This year, we are excited to feature in the first half of the symposium presentations and discussion between three prestigious scholars on this new research agenda. Crucially, this symposium aims to provide an explorative approach to studying the governance structures and mechanisms that sustain corporate logic as ongoing efforts as well as the various actors who are motivated or affected by the evolution of corporate logic and order. To achieve this, we have organized five breakout sessions in the second half of the symposium that will be facilitated by experts in the fields of institutional theory and corporate governance in the Chinese context.


Total Time / Format 

Part 1: 90 minutes / Virtual
June 14 2023 @9:00am–10:30pm (Hong Kong)
June 13 2023 @6:00pm–7:30pm (MST, Arizona) 

Part 2: 90 minutes / Hybrid (Time pending)

Number of Participants

Part 1: Open to all attendees of IACMR 
Part 2: 20 first-authors, plus co-authors

Part 1: Presentations/Discussion (90 mins)
Objective: To facilitate a thought-provoking and insightful discussion amongst leading scholars on institutional logics and corporate governance.

Introduction and welcomeMilo Wang, Shipeng Yan5
Presentations by three speakersAmy Hillman20
 Michael Lounsbury20
 Jane Lu20
Open discussion and Q&AAll participants and attendees25

Presentations and discussion will be moderated by the symposium organizers. 

Part 2: Breakout Sessions (90 mins)Objective: To have productive sessions that build a stronger understanding of research on the governance of corporate institutions in China and explore related challenges in the participants’ projects to help develop them.


Part 1 will be open to all attendees.

Part 2 will have a maximum of 4 participants each session to encourage focused discussions and feedback. Participants will need to pre-register and submit a one-page document with an abstract of a project and an outline of challenge statement to governance.institutions@gmail.com by May 15, 2023.