Publication Date



A common strategy used by professions to support claims of workplace jurisdiction involves the institutionalization of professionally-endorsed formal structures, yet both theory and research suggest that ensuring the implementation of institutionalized structures after formal adoption can be problematic. This study investigates the influence of organizational characteristics on the implementation of one professionally-created institution in higher education organizations, tenure systems for faculty employment. Our results suggest that implementation of tenure systems is negatively affected by internal resource pressures, but positively affected by countervailing pressures from professionally-linked constituents. The results also suggest self-limiting aspects of the use of tenure systems.


Suggested Citation

Park, S., Sine, W. D. & Tolbert, P. S. (2010). Professions, organizations and institutions: Tenure systems in colleges and universities [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement

Copyright held by SAGE. Final version to be published as: Park, S., Sine, W. D. & Tolbert, P. S. (in press). Institutions in action: Tenure systems and faculty employment in colleges and universities. Work and Occupations.