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This paper develops a theoretical framework that situates institutional entrepreneurship by drawing from Gramsci’s concept of hegemony to understand the contingent stabilization of organizational fields, and by employing his discussion of the Modern Prince as the collective agent who organizes and strategizes counter-hegemonic challenges. Our framework makes three contributions. First, we characterize the interlaced material, discursive, and organizational dimensions of field structure. Second, we argue that strategy must be examined more rigorously as the mode of action by which institutional entrepreneurs engage with field structures. Third, we argue that institutional entrepreneurship, in challenging the position of incumbent actors and stable fields, reveals a ‘strategic face of power’, particularly useful for understanding the political nature of contestation in issue-based fields.


Post-print version of article published in Organization Studies, July 2007, vol. 28, no. 7, p.971-991:


SAGE Publications, on behalf of European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS)


Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications



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