Navigating institutional pressure in state-socialist and democratic regimes: The case of movement brontosaurus

Carmin, JoAnn and Jehlicka, Petr (2010). Navigating institutional pressure in state-socialist and democratic regimes: The case of movement brontosaurus. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 39(1) pp. 29–50.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764008328820

Abstract

Using the case of Movement Brontosaurus, a Czech organization founded in state socialist times, this article investigates how civic associations and nongovernmental organizations seeking to promote alternatives to the status quo respond to institutional pressures in different political and social contexts. The case shows that under state socialism, Brontosaurus appeared to conform to state mandates and societal expectations. However, its formal structure was decoupled from many activities to obscure its oppositional intent.After the transition to democracy, the organization was only able to maintain its place in society after it aligned its structure and practices with each other and openly expressed its alternative agenda. The findings demonstrate how social change and alternative lifestyle organizations vary their responses to institutional pressure in ways that enable them to realize their values and pursue their missions while accounting for the political and social contexts in which they are embedded.

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