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Institutional Logics and Technology Development: Evidence from the Wind and Solar Energy Industries

Suzanne G. Tilleman (), Michael V. Russo () and Andrew Nelson
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Suzanne G. Tilleman: College of Business, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812
Michael V. Russo: Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403

Organization Science, 2020, vol. 31, issue 3, 649-670

Abstract: The relationship between regionally tied institutional logics and the location of organizations is an important issue in organization theory. Recent work highlights how supportive regional logics can give rise to products or organizations that resonate with these logics and how the geographic patterns that underlie industries may be understood by examining such relationships. This literature has not, however, offered deep attention to the ways in which features of technology—specifically, its inherent uncertainty—may interact with such dynamics. In this paper, we tackle the challenge. Our work examines how the level of support for an environmental-conservation logic within a region is associated with the number of wind and solar equipment manufacturers in that region in the years 1978–2006. By simultaneously exploring the effects of this logic on two similar technologies, our work not only reinforces how logics may interact with organizational activity but also shows how the magnitude and mechanisms of this effect depend on the technology in question. We build on these findings to discuss the importance of examining technologies in detail, including their dimensions of uncertainty, the role of timing in examining the effect of regionally tied logics, and the links between public policy and logics.

Keywords: institutional theory; sustainability/corporate environmentalism; geography of innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2019.1320 (application/pdf)

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