The Complexity of institutional logic in the context of regional economic organisations: a case study of the East African Community
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This paper proposes an in-depth study on the institutional logics in the East African Community (EAC), one of the regional economic organizations on the continent. As countries across the come closer together to cooperate on trade, economics and security for the benefit of their populations, the organizations that are mandated to manage the integration agenda are still not well understood. The organizations are varied in their structures and strategies, and so are their outcomes. Regional economic organizations (RECs) have existed for almost a century across the world, the most well-known being the European Union (EU). Africa has a dense population of regional organizations, which has presented unique challenges to the management of the organizations. It is widely acknowledged that the continent’s integration agenda has not led to improved economic performance, with globalization and increased competition among countries weakening the integration agenda (Fawn, 2009; Söderbaum & Shaw, 2003). Institutional logics, which are the social and historical practices, assumptions, values, rules and beliefs (Thornton & Ocasio, 1999), inform actors’ and institutional intermediaries’ actions and decisions. Using the institutional logics lens, this study proposes to explore and get new insights on how regional economic organizations manage institutional complexities that affect organizational structures and strategies. The proposed in-depth qualitative case study of the EAC, will inform continuing research on institutional logics, which is a nascent field, particularly on the African continent, and will identify areas for further research. The results will provide the EAC and similar organizations, with information that helps managers better understand the institutional logics that influence the organization and how these could be harnessed and changed for more effective delivery of defined goals and objectives.