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Institutional Entrepreneurship Dynamics: Evidence from the Development of Nanotechnologies


  • Claire A. Auplat
  • Lynne G. Zucker


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Claire A. Auplat & Lynne G. Zucker, 2014. "Institutional Entrepreneurship Dynamics: Evidence from the Development of Nanotechnologies," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 115-116, pages 197-220.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2014:i:115-116:p:197-220
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.115-116.197

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