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Healing the scars of history: projects, skills and field strategies in institutional entrepreneurship

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posted on 30.08.2006, 10:58 authored by Markus Perkmann
The article explores three dimensions of institutional entrepreneurship: the types of activity pursued by institutional entrepreneurs, their skills and their field strategies. Evidence is presented on the emergence of the 'Euroregion', an organizing template used by local authorities situated close to European borders for co-ordinating policies across borders. We trace the emergence and diffusion of the Euroregion template between 1950 and 2005 as the outcome of a process of institutional entrepreneurship. Based on the notion of projective agency, we identify three distinct types of projects institutional entrepreneurs are engaged in: interactional, technical and cultural projects. We also find that they deploy three types of skills relating to these project dimensions, i.e. political, analytical and cultural skills. Our evidence suggestions a time pattern governing the process of institutional entrepreneurship, involving an initial focus on interactional projects, a subsequent focus on technical projects and a predominance of cultural projects in the latter (diffusion) stage. Furthermore, we find that institutional entrepreneurs are able to identify and pursue opportunities by switching their institution-building projects between different fields. Our analysis thus offers new insights into the multi-dimensional and time-bound nature of institutional entrepreneurship.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


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© Markus Perkmann and André Spicer

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This is an AIM Research Working Paper and is also available at: This paper was later superseded by the journal article "‘Healing the scars of history’: Projects, skills and field strategies in institutional entrepreneurship", published in the journal, Organization studies [© Walter de Gruyter & Co], available at:





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