Based on an in-depth analysis of a field-wide high-tech conference held in Israel after the dot-com crash of 2000, I examine the role and usage of stories in the discursive dynamics of institutional entrepreneurship. Actors who represented different groups in the field were engaged in constructing a shared story of the crisis that reflected and further strengthened the established institutional order. Concurrently, the same actors were also each telling a counter-story of indictment, blaming other groups for the crisis and calling for changes in the institutional order. Institutional entrepreneurship, then, centered on efforts of sense-making through the narration of stories. The three accounts of the high-tech 2000 fall reflected simultaneous efforts of both collaboration in maintaining the institutional order and contestation that could potentially disrupt it. The delicate balance between these contradictory orientations was carried out by the skillful manipulation of explicit and implicit meanings, which was made possible by the use of stories as the medium of, and resource for, institutional entrepreneurship.
- Institutional entrepreneurship
- Institutional field