Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy (PhD)

Degree Level



Public Policy


Margaret Reid

Committee Member

William Schreckhise

Second Committee Member

Rogelio Garcia Contreras


banking, community development, Community Reinvestment Act, institutional logics, institutional theory, institutional work, organization theory, public policy


Although the public policy literature has traditionally focused on public sector agencies’ roles in the policy implementation process, private sector managers who oversee regulatory mandates for their organizations are also policy actors. These actors operate between multiple conflicting field-level institutional logics that create demands that they must reconcile through their work. In the banking sector, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), enacted in 1977, and its associated policies are monitored by the banking regulatory agencies and implemented by the senior managers responsible for these mandates at regulated financial institutions. Simultaneously with their responsibility for the policy mission of the CRA, CRA officers (CROs) are business managers who must support the commercial missions of their banks, as well as respond to the pressures of their community contexts. This dissertation contributes to the policy implementation literature in two ways. First, by linking the institutional logics and institutional work perspectives, this study extends our understanding of how managers in private organizations reconcile the demands of public policy with their market driven missions, and second, by examining the factors that contribute to policy implementation in the field of community reinvestment. By employing central tenets derived from the institutional logics perspective, the dissertation recognizes how the constitutive and interconnected material (organizational structures and practices) and symbolic (conceptualizations of market and policy demands) elements of the institutional orders of society inform these managers’ policy work. Furthermore, the institutional work framework recognizes the enduring nature of institutions, but also that institutional logics can change over time as constituted by actors’ agency and the evolving discourse and norms in the field. This micro-level focus on individual actors recognizes that organizations are not unitary, but instead are comprised of diverse employees who reference institutional logics in divergent ways. The second key contribution of the dissertation is its elucidation of the primary factors that contribute to CROs’ abilities to reconcile the demands of conflicting institutional logics, informed by the institutional work perspective. The study illustrates how structural work (job responsibilities and organizational authority), conceptual work (policy worldview and its intersection with race and personal identity, as well as organizational and leadership commitment to CRA performance), operational work (community market context) and relational work (professional identity and gender of the CRO) influenced interpretations of CRA mandates. The most significant finding was related to the race and ethnicity of the CRO, which influenced the conceptualizations of CRA as community development, as opposed to compliance, as well as perceptions concerning the importance of the CRA statute.