The social and institutional context of infrastructure planning has shifted tremendously over recent decades. From top–down implementation, infrastructure planners are now forced to incorporate the demands and wishes of citizens and other external stakeholders. This paper adopts
the analytical perspective of institutional work to analyse how a number of Dutch infrastructure planning organisations try to remain in control over these changes in their institutional context. Building on social systems thinking, this paper distinguishes three environments in which this
control can play out: the internal environment over which an organisation has complete control, an external environment over which an organisation has little control and a transactional environment where the organisation, through its interactions with other actors, can influence institutional
development. The paper concludes that while most forms of institutional work applied by the infrastructure planning organisations under study aim to change the organisations’ interactions with stakeholders, the forms of institutional work are predominantly located within the internal
environment of planning organisations.
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social system boundaries
Document Type: Research Article
KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Publication date: January 2, 2019
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