11 October 2022, 15 - 16.30 

Maintaining the Institutional Order throughout a Crisis: Reconstructions of Place, Time and Emotions in Israeli High-Tech 2001-4

Tammar Zilber pic 2021.jpg

Tammar B. Zilber

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Based on an ethnographic study of Israeli high-tech conferences after the 2000 crisis, I examine how institutional maintenance is carried out at the organizational field level. Conference participants engaged in a collective effort to reestablish their understanding of themselves and their industry, focusing on issues of location, time orientation, and emotions. Moving from grandiose to disconsolate to balanced conceptions of time and place, this process resemble patterns of grief – from denial to anger and negotiation, to depression, and finally acceptance. The field material suggests that maintenance involves working through the field’s identity. Maintenance is selective, relating to fundamental tensions in the symbolic institutional order, both the local Israeli (e.g., issues of locations and belonging) and global (e.g., issues of time, and the relevance of the past, present and future to high-technology). These issues are delicately re-aligned along time, involving cognitive, emotional, and material dimensions at the intersection of inner- and outer-field pressures.