Isomorphic moral regulation : evidence from alcohol retail in Scotland

  • Euan Beveridge

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This research asks, "How do isomorphic mechanisms and institutional pressures for moral regulation influence legislation?" A framework of neo-institutional theory, legitimacy, moral panic and moral regulation literatures are applied, via an interpretivist flashpoint methodology, to the Scottish alcohol retailing context, examining parliamentary debates from 2002-2012. The primary research output is the isomorphic moral regulation model, detailing the process by which organisations become more technically inefficient due to legislation regarding a problematized aspect of production on moral grounds. Moral appropriateness overrides pragmatic assessments of personal gain, inflating the value of moral legitimacy in such contexts, serving to rationalise new inefficiencies. A necessary part of the IMR process is the narrative supporting institutional change. Key figures in this narrative, or story, are the villains, victims, and vexes, which highlight the threat posed to all levels of by the essential problematizations.
Date of Award22 Jun 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorPeter McKiernan (Supervisor) & Andrew Perchard (Supervisor)

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