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Individuals Considerations When Responding to Competing Logics: Insights From Identity Control Theory


Journal of Management Inquiry

Published online on


The question how individuals experience and respond to competing logics has recently received intensified attention, but current theories remain incoherent, and research is restricted to situations with stable constellations of logics. To elaborate on these issues, we use insights from identity control theory, and develop a model for individuals’ considerations during interactions characterized by institutional complexity. We argue that individuals engage with several logics, unless these logics are related to conflicting identities that become salient simultaneously. Conflicting identities encourage individuals to choose the logic that is linked to the identity higher up in their "self." In situations where the conflict is not clear from the beginning, individuals may distance themselves from the logic that is related to a lower level identity, to maintain self-esteem. This article contributes to research by clarifying the competing perspectives on individual considerations when there are multiple institutional logics and extends research to dynamically evolving situations.