Building on an ethnographic study of a social healthcare organization that serves tribal communities in India, this study integrates organizational imprinting theory to explore mechanisms for resolving challenges associated with professional, modern-day healthcare delivery. We find that the founders’ imprint, reflecting a blend of Indian spiritual traditions and scientific approaches, shapes the practices of healthcare functionaries. With a process model, we highlight the founders’ early recognition of a practical incongruence between neutral and expert-centric routines of medical professionals and the cultural attributes of tribal people. Based on their spiritual outlook, we find that founders institutionalize a set of organizational routines and create relational practices of social camaraderie and interpretive bridging, which resolve the practical incongruence and include tribal communities in the fold of modern healthcare provisions. By showcasing the role of founders’ imprints, our findings extend organizational imprinting literature on teams’ practices and have implications in healthcare delivery to communities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organizational imprinting
- Relational practices