Institutional multiplicity in practice: A tale of two high-tech conferences in Israel

Tammar B. Zilber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


In this paper I uncover the routine, ongoing practices that sustain institutional multiplicity. Drawing on a comparative study of the two high-tech conferences held in Israel in 2002, I examine how diverse institutions are discursively handled in field-configuring events. Institutional multiplicity was expressed at this site through two identity discourses, one that situated the industry within a national context and another that oriented it toward the global markets. In addition, the conferences were constructed around different best-practice discourses that focused on guidelines for either investment or management. These four discourses reflected and further affected power relations between the field's actors, and they were differentially distributed across separate social spaces between the conferences and within them. The contribution of this study to our understanding of institutional multiplicity lies in demonstrating how it is maintained in practice, politically negotiated between actors, and refracted across separate social spaces.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1539-1559
Number of pages21
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Conferences
  • Discourse
  • Field-configuring events
  • Institutional fields
  • Institutional multiplicity
  • Israeli high tech
  • Subject position


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