Beyond Red Tape and Fools: Institutional Theory in Entrepreneurship Research, 1992–2014

27 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2017

See all articles by Jing Su

Jing Su

Shanghai Finance University

Qinghua Zhai

East China Normal University (ECNU)

Tomas Karlsson

Jönköping International Business School

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

Institutional theory has become an increasingly common lens in entrepreneurship research. Over the past years, the number of entrepreneurship studies that adopt institutional perspective (EIn research) has grown dramatically. This review systematically examines extant EIn research, analyzing 194 articles published in 11 leading journals from 1992 to 2014. In this review, we focus on three characteristics of the articles: institutional logic, level of analysis, and methodology. Further, we identify three distinct periods of EIn research: the conceptual phase, 1992–2000, the exploration phase 2001–2007, and the acceptance phase 2008–2014. This allows us to provide detailed discussion on main characteristics of the articles and identify evolutionary trends of this research area. The overall surge of articles with institutional perspective in entrepreneurship research is promising. We can see an increasing variation of methods being applied and a growing mutual interest between entrepreneurship and institutional theory researchers. Yet, we find substantial biases and omissions in the application of institutional theory. There is a focus on national level analysis with assuming state and market logics. For EIn to move forward it has to move closer to field/industry level analysis and add new insights into entrepreneurship and alternative logics. Based on our framework and additional insights gained from the review, we outline directions for future EIn research.

Suggested Citation

Su, Jing and Zhai, Qinghua and Karlsson, Tomas, Beyond Red Tape and Fools: Institutional Theory in Entrepreneurship Research, 1992–2014 (July 2017). Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 41, Issue 4, pp. 505-531, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2996826 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/etap.12218

Jing Su (Contact Author)

Shanghai Finance University

995 Shangchuan Road
Pudong New District
Shanghai, Shanghai
China

Qinghua Zhai

East China Normal University (ECNU) ( email )

North Zhongshan Road Campus
3663 N. Zhongshan Rd.
Shanghai, 200062
China

Tomas Karlsson

Jönköping International Business School ( email )

Jönköping, 55111
Sweden

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