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‘Healing the scars of history’: Projects, skills and field strategies in institutional entrepreneurship

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journal contribution
posted on 10.07.2007, 13:15 by Markus Perkmann, Andre Spicer
We explore what institutional entrepreneurs do to propagate new organizational forms. Our findings are derived from a longitudinal study of the ‘Euroregion’, an organizational form used by local authorities situated close to European borders for co-ordinating policies across borders. We find that the institutional entrepreneurs behind the Euroregion engaged in several types of institution-building projects, with a changing focus over time. While the initial emphasis was on interactional projects, this was followed by a focus on technical projects and finally cultural projects. The skills the institutional entrepreneurs deployed changed accordingly. While in a first phase predominantly political skills were used, later analytical skills and finally cultural skills were added. Furthermore, the institutional entrepreneurs propagated the organizational form by switching their institution-building projects between different fields. We interpret these findings by outlining a process theory of institutional entrepreneurship that conceptualises the institutional entrepreneur in light of its development as an innovating organization.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


Perkmann, M. and Spicer, A., 2007. ‘Healing the scars of history’: Projects, skills and field strategies in institutional entrepreneurship. Organization Studies, 28(7), pp. 1101-1122


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This article was published in the journal, Organization Studies. The definite version of this paper will appear in Organization Studies (special issue on Institutional Entrepreneurship, 2007).