Institutional Entrepreneurship and Agency

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Abstract

The notion of institutional entrepreneurship has become very popular in the last decade. Starting from a review of the literature on the topic, I first focus on the use of the idea of individual entrepreneurs and point out three theoretical incongruities it produces. I then discuss notions of collective entrepreneurship and institutional work to see if they can overcome these incongruities. I conclude that although they can remedy some of the problems, these notions run the risk of describing everything until they describe nothing. In order to limit and enable the entrepreneurship literature to discuss agency meaningfully, I argue, it needs to develop analytical frames of agency derived either from existing sociological theories or from further developing its own brand of agency theory.

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