Sub-plenary 1:

New Directions in Institutional Innovation


Eva Boxenbaum

Professor of Management
CGS, Mines Paristech, France
CBS, Denmark 



Eva Boxenbaum conducts research on innovation in institutionalized contexts. In collaboration with industrial partners and international researchers, she examines how new business practices and technologies emerge, spread and are implemented in organizational practice in different industries and nations.

Her work is particularly focused on how entrepreneurial individuals and organizations – who are themselves embedded in the beliefs, norms and rules that prevail in an industry or a nation – can break with established templates and generate innovations that spread and provoke sustained organizational or social change.


Roy Suddaby

Chair of Law and Society
Alberta School of Business, Edmonton, Canada



Roy Suddaby is the Director of the Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta.

He is also Editor of the Academy of Management Review.


His research focuses on profound organizational and institutional change.
It has been published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Human Relations, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Accounting Organizations & Society and Administrative Science Quarterly.



Marc C. Ventresca

Saïd School of Business and Wolfson College
University of Oxford, UK



Marc J. Ventresca serves as Academic Director of Science Innovation Plus, an innovative enterprise skills program for doctoral students in Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences, at the University of Oxford. His current research investigates an economic sociology of strategy and market-building in institutionally complex contexts. His work focuses on the interplay of innovation and infrastructure, and develops the implications for theory and practice of inhabited institutions.
Recent papers appear in Theory and Society, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management Inquiry and Academy of Management Journal.



Eva Boxenbaum

This lecture aims to shed light on how embedded individuals, through their cognitive and sensory functions, contribute to crafting institutional innovations. I discuss how selected elements from cognitive science, psychology, and literary studies can help articulate the cognitive ‘nano-processes’ of embedded agency. Second, I explore how visual communication and linguistic expression, enables individuals to perceive novelty and integrate it into their existing repertoire. Third, I examine how institutional innovations, through their manifestations in legal categories, come to shape individual behaviour and hence organizational practice.

Marc J. Ventresca

Institutional arguments are breaking new ground at the interface of innovation and infrastructure. The focus on innovation re-activates inquiry into ‘inhabited institutions’, bringing back both activity and people; the focus on infrastructure extends the focus on systems of meaning with attention to material systems and large-scale activity. This 65th anniversary of Selznick's classic, The TVA and the Grassroots: A Study in the Sociology of Formal Organization, is a useful marker for rethinking how institutionalists can engage with organized activity, both small-scale and large-scale.

Roy Suddaby

Although we understand institutions to be social structures that endure through time, history is often but an implicit and often invisible construct in organizational institutionalism. Yet history and, more particularly, the interpretive and symbolic process by which the past is converted to collective memory and myth, is a key but understudied element of the means by which institutions are created, maintained and changed. Indeed, the creative reconstruction of the past is presented as a critical component of institutional innovation.