Emerging industries: Institutions, legitimacy and system building 2

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM (MDT)
Room: Blue Room, Omni, East
Organizers: Christian Binz, Robert Hassink, Huiwen Gong
Chairs: Michaela Trippl


Paper Session Organizers: Huiwen Gong (Kiel University), Robert Hassink (Kiel University), Christian Binz (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Michaela Trippl (University of Vienna)

In recent decades, the emergence of internet-related, biotechnology-based and ‘green’ industries has catalyzed significant economic development in regions, nations and globally. Accordingly, ‘emerging’, ‘embryonic’ and ‘nascent’ industries, as well as the dynamics of industrial path creation in regions (Grillitsch et al., 2017; Fornahl et al., 2012; Hassink et al. 2018; MacKinnon et al. 2018), have received renewed interest in research and policy making (e.g., Tödtling and Trippl 2018; Forbes and Kirsch, 2011; Binz et al., 2016b; Gustafsson et al., 2016; Boschma et al., 2017; Carvalho and Vale, 2018). Economic geographers have studied emerging industries in regions from multiple perspectives, four of which stand out: evolutionary approaches (path dependence, path creation, regional branching etc.), institutional theory (bricolage, institutional entrepreneurship, legitimacy etc.), organizational ecology (Gustafsson et al., 2016), as well as (regional and technological) innovation systems.

While these approaches have contributed complementary insights into the mechanisms of new industry emergence in regions, a range of significant questions remain unanswered, particularly concerning the institutional contexts in which new industries form. Newly emerging industries like car sharing, renewable energy or personalized medicine fundamentally challenge taken-for granted regulations, norms, and cultural beliefs (Markard et al., 2016; Moors et al., 2017). As such, their emergence and diffusion depends not only on ‘supply-side’ knowledge dynamics (which are traditionally the focus of economic geographers), but also on structural shifts in the relevant valuation systems and institutional structures (Jeannerat and Kebir, 2016). Whether new industries emerge, directly depends on how early entrepreneurs are able to alter incumbent institutional structures through collective institutional entrepreneurship/work (Sotarauta and Mustikkamäki, 2015), legitimation or system building activities.

At the same time, economic globalization increasingly interconnects industry actors and institutional structures in distant places. Most emerging industries in regions are not only confronted with institutional barriers at one particular spatial scale (e.g. inside a region) anymore, but depend on highly complex, multi-scalar institutional arrangements that may facilitate or hinder the emergence of new technologies and practices in regions. Where, how and at what scale early entrepreneurs may best intervene in these multi-scalar arrangements is a largely open research question.

This special session therefore aims at bringing together papers analyzing the emergence of new industries in regions from a multi-scalar institutional perspective. We aim for conceptual, methodological and empirical papers that examine the topics of multi-scalar institutional agencies, institutional entrepreneurship, as well as legitimation and valuation dynamics, which are relevant for the emergence of new industries in regions. We see particular potential in tackling the following questions:

• What multi-scalar institutional arrangements hinder or support the creation of new industrial paths in a given region? Why do new industrial paths succeed in certain institutional contexts while they fail in others? (Coenen et al., 2012; Hansen and Coenen, 2015)
• In nascent sectors, what kinds of institutional work are necessary in order to create, maintain and disrupt the institutional arrangements that the emerging industries in regions are embedded in? (Fuenfschilling and Truffer, 2016; Hampel et al., 2017; Lawrence et al., 2013)
• How is legitimacy for emerging industries built up (e.g., artificial intelligence, biotechnology, biogenetics, and driverless vehicles) in regions/nations/ internationally (Markard et al., 2016; Binz et al., 2016a)? How do institutional actors react to sudden shocks or erosion of accumulated legitimacy (Binz et al., 2016a; Markard et al., 2016)? How do institutions co-evolve with emerging industries’ development trajectory? (Gong and Hassink, 2018)
• What are incumbent’s strategies to de-legitimize emerging (and potentially disruptive) competitors?
• How do legitimation processes differ between types of regions and between industries with varying technology characteristics (Binz and Truffer, 2017; Huenteler et al., 2016; Isaksen and Trippl, 2016)?
• What roles do (institutional) entrepreneurs and firms, policy-makers, end-users, and various intermediary actors play in (de-)legitimizing the emerging industries (Binz et al., 2016a; Moors et al., 2017)?
• How do the emerging industries differ from the established ones in terms of institutional logics (Thornton et al., 2012)? How do the coexistence, conflicts, and convergence of diverse institutional logics contribute to the development dynamics of the emerging industries? (Seo and Creed, 2002; Gawer and Phillips, 2013; Fuenfschilling and Truffer 2016)
• How does the emergence of new technologies and materiality influence the institutional work of relevant stakeholders at several spatial scales? What are the preconditions for the interpretation/sense-making of emerging industries and how do they differ from place to place? (Raviola and Norbäck, 2013)
• What are the common institutional barriers that regional/national policy-makers come across in supporting an emerging industry? And how to overcome them?

Please submit your paper abstract (max. 250 words) along with your AAG Program Identification Number (PIN) to Christian Binz (christian.binz@eawag.ch), Huiwen Gong (gong@geographie.uni-kiel.de) and Robert Hassink (hassink@geographie.uni-kiel.de) by Wednesday 10th October.

We will notify authors about acceptance to the session by Wednesday October 17th.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Jonas Heiberg, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Bernhard Truffer, Utrecht University, Christian Binz*, EAWAG, The geography of legitimacy formation in emerging industries - mapping global discourse coalitions in the modular water technology industry 20 3:05 PM
Presenter Zhen Yu*, Tsinghua University, Zheng Liang, Tsinghua University , Cross the river by feeling the stones again? The co-evolution of China’s data governance and the emerging artificial intelligence industry 20 3:25 PM
Presenter Samuel Mössner*, Münster University, Postgrowth economies: Paradoxical regional dynamics as challenges for spatial sciences 20 3:45 PM
Presenter Lea Fünfschilling, Lund University, Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer*, University of Vienna, Johan Miörner, Lund University, Michaela Trippl, University of Vienna, Institutional infrastructure for innovation-based industrial path transformation 20 4:05 PM
Discussant Robert Hassink Kiel University 20 4:25 PM

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