The study of institutions traverses the academic fields of economics, sociology, political science and organisational theory. The common denominator for institutionalism in various disciplines appears to be that of, 'institutions matter' (Kaufman 2011). An underlying assumption in the study of institutions is that organisations are deeply embedded in the wider institutional context (Powell 1988; DiMaggio & Powell 1991). Thus, "organisational practices are either a direct reflection of, or response to, rules and structures built into their larger environment" (Paauwe & Boselie 2003, p. 59).This institutional environment is the source of legitimisation, rewards or incentives for, as well as constraints or sanctions on, organisational activities (Meyer & Rowan 1977). The relevance of institutional theory to Human Resource Management (HRM) was initially derived from this view (Rosenzweig & Nohria 1994).