Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research

No 2024/6: The rescaling of institutional rationalities for shaping opportunity spaces

Andrea Käsbohrer (), Markus Grillitsch () and Hans-Martin Zademach
Additional contact information
Andrea Käsbohrer: Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Postal: Germany
Markus Grillitsch: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Hans-Martin Zademach: Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Postal: Germany

Abstract: By integrating the concept of opportunity spaces into the debate on multi-scalarity in transitions, this paper explains how and why actors engage in institutional change processes across scales. Opportunity spaces for change conceptualize a multi-scalar institutional architecture as structure for agency and take account of the future-past-dimension of agency. Actors rescale institutional rationalities by carrying out institutional work across scales with the intention to strengthen an industrial path. Our conceptual elaborations are illustrated by in-depth interviews and participant observation of industry associations in the market for residential storage systems in Germany. Af-ter having constructed and exploited a national opportunity space for this niche, particularly indus-try associations and companies engage in institutional work fostering the national implementation of EU legislation and affecting legislation, discourses and standards at a European scale. While insti-tutional semi-coherence is found as constraining condition for rescaling institutional rationalities, holding positions at multiple scales enhances agency.

Keywords: Multi-scalarity; transitions; agency; opportunity space; institutional work; energy

JEL-codes: L50; O33; R11; R58

Language: English

37 pages, April 15, 2024

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