Sub-theme 12: [SWG] Institutions, Innovation, Impact: Temporal, Spatial and Material Foundations of Institutional Innovation and Change

Nina Granqvist
Aalto University, Finland
Stine Grodal
Boston University, USA
Santi Furnari
City, University of London

Call for Papers

This sub-theme is part of the EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) 12 on “Institutions, Innovation, Impact: How Institutional Theory Matters”. Studies show that institutions are constituted by their temporal embeddedness, material circumstances and spatial contingencies. Yet, institutional research in these three domains is still in its infancy. For the 2020 Colloquium, we therefore call for papers that address these emerging research streams individually or combined, with a particular focus on their role on institutional innovation and change.
Several recent studies establish that temporality – the negotiated constructions of time (Butler, 1995) – shapes various institutional processes. Shared temporal understandings, such as “right timing” and “windows of opportunity” influence the development of fields, and participants’ decisions to engage with them (Granqvist & Gustafsson, 2016). These understandings are not fixed but malleable, and fields are arenas for dialogue between communities with different timeframes and temporal logics (Reinecke & Ansari, 2015; Slawinski & Bansal, 2015). Change processes may also be characterized by particular sequences of actions, timelines, temporal horizons, and forms of temporary organizing (Tukiainen & Granqvist, 2016). Moreover, in a turbulent world, securing the continuity of traditions and rituals rely on established routines and practices (Dacin et al., 2010).
Institutions unfold not only temporally but also spatially. Innovations and institutional change often arise from spaces – geographically bounded social settings – within and between institutional fields (Furnari, 2014; 2016; Cartel et al., 2018). For example, it is often in the ‘interstitial spaces’ connecting different fields (Furnari, 2014), such as maker-spaces (Browder et al., 2019) and accelerators (Cohen et al., 2018), that people and organizations experiment with new practices and innovate existing institutions (Cartel et al., 2018; Bucher & Langley, 2016). Previous research has also pointed at the relationship between place and institutions (Lawrence & Dover, 2015) and at the key role of intra-organizational ‘relational spaces’ (Kellogg, 2009), ‘liminal spaces’ (Howard-Greenville et al., 2011) and ‘field configuring events’ such as conferences or festivals (Schüssler et al., 2014). Despite this emerging research, by and large institutional research has paid limited attention to how spatial factors influence the dynamics of innovation and institutional change.
The temporal and spatial dimensions of institutions are intertwined with their materiality. A material turn has taken place within different strands of organizational theory (Carlile et al., 2013). However, investigating the role that materiality plays in institutional processes still requires our attention. Scholars have called for a closer examination of the material foundation of institutions (Boxenbaum et al., 2018) – be it the role that they play in institutional logics, the role of visuals in institutional processes, or the role of aesthetics in technological and institutional processes (Meyer et al., 2013; Eisenman, 2013; Krabbe & Grodal, 2018).
To address the origins of institutional innovation and change, this sub-theme invites papers that address each of these three domains individually or connect across them. Studies can draw on different literatures and approaches, including sociology of time, social geography, practice theory, approaches to materiality, studies on discourse and narratives, institutional work, cultural entrepreneurship, and institutional logics.
Studies in this sub-theme may include, but are not restricted to the following topics:

  • Temporal strategies and actions for influencing innovations, institutional change or achieving societal impact

  • Explorations for how institutional agency is embedded in spaces, places and material circumstances

  • Connections between temporality, space and materiality—for example (but not limited to) how various spaces, places and events can contain and produce certain temporal norms and timeframes

  • How aesthetics or other material practices are institutionalized or might help shape institutional processes

  • Temporal, spatial and material manifestations of cultural beliefs and their role in innovation, institutional change and achieving societal impact

  • Longitudinal studies on how temporary organizations and spaces may give rise to more permanent innovation and change outcomes

  • New approaches to, and conceptualizations of, fields that are sensitive to their temporal, spatial and material constitution

  • How institutional logics constitute and are constituted by temporality, spatiality and materiality at different levels of analysis

We encourage a plurality of methodological approaches ranging from qualitative, historical, quantitative and experimental studies. In particular, we call for papers that creatively employ a variety of methods and new data sources such as images, objects, social media data, and new types of archival data.



  • Boxenbaum, E., Jones, C., Meyer, R., & Svejenova, S. (2018): “Towards an Articulation of the Material and Visual Turn in Organization Studies.” Organization Studies, 39 (5–6), 597–616.
  • Browder, R.E., Aldrich, H.E., & Bradley, S.W. (2019): “The emergence of the maker movement: Implications for entrepreneurship research.” Journal of Business Venturing, 34(3), 459–476.
  • Bucher, S., & Langley, A. (2016): “The Interplay of Reflective and Experimental Spaces in Interrupting and Reorienting Routine Dynamics.” Organization Science, 27 (3), 594–613.
  • Butler, R. (1995): “Time in Organizations: Its Experience, Explanations and Effects.” Organization Studies, 16 (6), 925–950.
  • Carlile, P.R., Nicolini, D., Langley, A., & Tsoukas, H. (eds.) (2013): How Matter Matters: Objects, Artifacts, and Materiality in Organization Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cartel, M., Boxenbaum, E., & Aggeri, F. (2018): “Just for fun! How experimental spaces stimulate innovation in institutionalized fields.” Organization Studies, 40 (1), 65–92.
  • Cohen, S.L., Bingham, C.B., & Hallen, B.L. (2018): “The Role of Accelerator Designs in Mitigating Bounded Rationality in New Ventures.” Administrative Science Quarterly, first published online on July 23, 2018,
  • Dacin, M.T., Munir, K., & Tracey, P. (2010): “Formal dining at Cambridge colleges: Linking ritual performance and institutional maintenance.” Academy of Management Journal, 53 (6), 1393–1418.
  • Eisenman, M. (2013): “Understanding aesthetic innovation in the context of technological evolution.” Academy of Management Review, 38 (3), 332–351.
  • Furnari, S. (2014): “Interstitial spaces: Microinteraction settings and the genesis of new practices between institutional fields.” Academy of Management Review, 39 (4), 439–462.
  • Furnari, S. (2016): “Institutional fields as linked arenas: Inter-field resource dependence, institutional work and institutional change.” Human Relations, 69 (3), 551–580.
  • Granqvist, N., & Gustafsson, R. (2016): “Temporal Institutional Work.” Academy of Management Journal, 59 (3), 1009–1035.
  • Howard-Grenville, J., Golden-Biddle, K., & Mao, J. (2011): “Liminality as cultural process for cultural change.” Organization Science, 22 (2), 522–539.
  • Kellogg, K. (2009): “Operating room: Relational spaces and microinstitutional change in surgery.” American Journal of Sociology, 115 (3), 657–711.
  • Krabbe, A.D., & Grodal, S. (2018): “Big, Beige and Bulky: Aesthetic Shifts in the Hearing Aid Industry (1945–2015).” Academy of Management Proceedings, Vol. 2018, Issue 1.
  • Lawrence, T.B., & Dover, G. (2015): “Place and institutional work: Creating housing for the hard-to-house.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 60 (3), 371–410.
  • Meyer, R., Höllerer, M., Jancsary, D., & van Leeuwen, T. (2013): “The Visual Dimension in Organizing, Organization, and Organization Research: Core Ideas, Current Developments, and Promising Avenues.” Academy of Management Annals, 7 (1), 489– 555.
  • Reinecke, J., & Ansari, S. (2015): “When times collide: Temporal brokerage at the intersection of markets and developments.” Academy of Management Journal, 58 (2), 618–648.
  • Schüßler, E., Grabher, G., & Müller-Seitz, G. (2015): “Field-Configuring Events: Arenas for Innovation and Learning?” Industry and Innovation, 22 (3), 165–172.
  • Slawinski, N., & Bansal, P. (2015): “Short on time: Intertemporal tensions in business sustainability.” Organization Science, 26 (2), 531–549.
  • Tukiainen, S., & Granqvist, N. (2016): “Temporary Organizing and Institutional Change.” Organization Studies, 37 (12), 1819–1840.
Nina Granqvist is Associate Professor of Management at Aalto University School of Business, Finland. Her interests include institutional work, temporality and institutions, categorization in markets, and more generally, processes related to emergence of novelty and transitions from margins to mainstream. Nina’s research has been published, among others, in ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Organization Science’, ‘Organization Studies’, and ‘Journal of Management Studies’.
Stine Grodal is Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation Boston University, USA. Her research focuses on the emergence and evolution of markets, industries and organizational fields with a specific focus on the role categories and their associated labels play in this process. Stine’s work is interdisciplinary and blends theories from sociology and psychology with strategy. In particular, her work explores the strategic actions that market participants take to shape and exploit categorical structures. Her work has been published, among others, in ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’, ‘American Sociological Review’, ‘Organization Science’, and ‘Strategic Management Journal’.
Santi Furnari is Professor of Strategy at Cass Business School, City, University of London, United Kingdom. He studies the emergence of new fields and practices, and the design of organizational configurations and business models. His research has been published in journals such as the ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Human Relations’, ‘Industrial and Corporate Change’, ‘Journal of Management’, ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Strategic Organization’. Santi received the 2014 AMR Best Paper Award, and he serves on the Editorial Boards of the ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Organization Studies’; and ‘Journal of Management Studies’.