The Decline and Fall of the Paris Salon: a Study of the Deinstitutionalization Process of a Field Configuring Event in the Cultural Activities
This article examines the deinstitutionalization of a Field Configuring Event (FCE) and the consequences of this deinstitutionalization for an organizational field. To this end, we carried out a historiographical study of the deinstitutionalization of the Paris Salon. This pivotal FCE was the central event of the Beaux-Arts field in France for over two centuries before its progressive decline at the end of the 19th Century. From a theoretical point of view, our results show that the deinstitutionalization process of FCEs is the result of the interaction and dynamics of several factors, notably, the internal contradictions of the FCE, the emergence of alternatives resulting from institutional developments, and the constitution of a critical mass, followed by the development of institutional pressures that encourage the abandonment of the FCE. This study also enables us to analyze the impact of an FCE’s decline on the structure, distribution and nature of power, and especially on temporality within a field. Finally, it contributes to the study of the deinstitutionalization process in general. From a managerial point of view, this study suggests that promoters must organize themselves to integrate innovation, in order to avoid the decline of the FCE.
Copyright (c) 2011 Hélène Delacour, Bernard Leca
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