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Edited by Laura Anna Costanzo and Robert Bradley MacKay
Chapter 15: The Role of Resources in Institutional Entrepreneurship: Insights for an Approach to Strategic Management that Combines Agency and Institution
Julie Battilana and Bernard Leca Introduction The take-oﬀ in France of a market for socially responsible investment (SRI) corresponds to the creation, in 1997, of the ﬁrst social rating agency, ARESE. SRI existed long before ARESE’s creation but was not recognized as legitimate by the ﬁnancial community, which perceived it to be a marginal activity led by idealists who lacked seriousness. ARESE managed to develop a measure of companies’ corporate social performance that would resemble well-established ways of evaluating organizational performance and could be integrated within fund managers’ traditional decision-making processes. Rather than provide monographs about companies, ARESE formulated quantitative measures with which to generate the ‘ARESE notation’, which ﬁnancial executives regarded as more serious and legitimate. Using this new tool, which was more in conformance with the dominant logic of the ﬁnancial world, fund managers willing to develop SRI funds were able to legitimize themselves in the ﬁnancial community and set up those funds. The SRI market subsequently developed such that by the end of 2001, SRI assets in France totaled €1000 million. ARESE held that same year 85 percent market share of the market for social rating (Déjean et al., 2004). The ﬁrst social rating agency in France, ARESE, in developing a measure of companies’ corporate social performance, diverged from the existing norms of the ﬁnancial market sector, yet framed its measure in such a way that it appeared to be congruent with the existing models. In contributing to the development of new practices in the ﬁnancial...
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