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Institutional Entrepreneurship Dynamics: Evidence from the Development of Nanotechnologies

Claire A. Auplat and Lynne G. Zucker
Annals of Economics and Statistics
No. 115/116, SPECIAL ISSUE ON KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL IN NANOTECHNOLOGY AND OTHER HIGH TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES (December 2014), pp. 197-220
Published by: GENES on behalf of ADRES
DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.115-116.197
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15609/annaeconstat2009.115-116.197
Page Count: 26
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Institutional Entrepreneurship Dynamics: Evidence from the Development of Nanotechnologies
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Abstract

This paper explores one specific aspect of institutional entrepreneurship dynamics: the integration of civil society in the process of institutional emergence. We base our analysis on a longitudinal study over a six year period of a particular Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the ETC Group. Our study shows how a combination of innovative practices, the use of an entrepreneurial toolbox and bricolage have allowed the NGO to become a successful institutional entrepreneur by altering the emergence of nanotechnology through increasing sensitivity to, and research on, likely negative impacts, thereby changing the parameters of nanotechnology's development and growth. This change has arguably improved the bottom line for both society as a whole and for commercial entrepreneurs who may avoid losses incurred from mitigating harm done before the specific risks are known. Its exit strategy supports our theory that in the case of the development of nanotechnology, civil society has now been integrated into the process of institutional emergence of new technologies. We conclude that this case illustrates a new form of institutional dynamics which deserves extended research. JEL: O33, M13 / KEY WORDS: Institutional Entrepreneurship, Nanotechnologies, Civil Society, Innovation in Management Practices

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