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Edited by Markus Reihlen and Andreas Werr
Chapter 18: The emergence and dynamics of venture capital in Germany: an organizational field based approach
For a long time the focus of neo-institutional analysis has been the observance of isomorphic tendencies caused by the existence of institutions. In contrast, the origins, erosion, or re-emergence of institutional practices is only inadequately addressed in neo-institutional work so far. In particular, the development of new institutions still remains to a large extent unexplained, even if recently a growing number of articles addressing topics like institutional entrepreneurship or institutional work can be found in the literature (Aldrich, 1992: 34; DiMaggio, 1988: 3; Greenwood & Hinings, 1996; Hirsch & Lounsbury, 1997; Lawrence, Suddaby, & Leca, 2009). In line with recent thinking, we believe that institutions do not just fall out of the sky, but gradually emerge as the result of a long-term development process which is uenced by historical conditions, path-dependent learning, and environmental selection processes (see also Chapters 16, 17, and 19). Furthermore, we start with the assumption that, when investigating the origins and rise of institutions it is highly probable that, behind the ceremonial guidelines and institutional myths, competing interests and logics of different actors can be found. It is "embedded agency" that we expect to observe when we trace back the origins of institutions. This chapter asserts that institutions emerge within an organizational field simultaneously with actor based structuration processes within the organizational field. These institutions or institutional notions display at any point in time the current beliefs held by actors within the organizational field regarding the relevant institutional subject matter at hand, and they are shaped in an interactive continuous process. Those institutional notions which do emerge within an organizational field must not be unambiguously defined, and it may occur that various notions regarding a given institution compete with one another or even coexist peacefully. How the institutional notions within an organizational field are defined depends heavily on the path-dependent characteristics of the actors involved within the organizational field, particularly on their power as well as on their positions within the field.
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