Fashioning an Industry: by a26m1Qs


									                                   Fashioning an Industry:
                          The Institutionalization of a New Industry
                  In the Absence of Concerted, Centrally Coordinated Action

                                               Mukti Khaire

                                       Please send correspondence to
                                               Mukti Khaire
                                                 Rock 321
                                         Harvard Business School
                                            Boston, MA 02163
                                             Ph: 617-496-4621


1 The author would like to thank Teresa Amabile, Ted Baker, Tom Eisenmann, Mary Ann Glynn, Ranjay Gulati,
Heather Haveman, Candace Jones, Brayden King, Michael Lounsbury, Kathleen McGinn, Peter Murmann, Nitin
Nohria, Elaine Romanelli, Mary Tripsas, R. Daniel Wadhwani, and participants at the HBS and Darden seminar series
as well as the R.H. Smith Entrepreneurship Conference (2006) for their insightful comments and feedback on earlier
versions of this paper. I also want to thank Kathleen Eisenhardt for directing me to some relevant papers. Any
remaining errors are the responsibility of the author.
                                Fashioning an Industry:
                       The Institutionalization of a New Industry
               In the Absence of Concerted, Centrally Coordinated Action

Abstract: This paper explores the conditions under which a new industry may be
institutionalized without purposive and concerted or centrally coordinated action, through an
inductive, qualitative study of the emergence and institutionalization of the high-end fashion
industry in India. Based on interviews with entrepreneurs and constituents of the field, I find
that three factors institutionalized the industry despite the absence of collective or
coordinated action: appropriate framing of their activity by entrepreneurs, the co-emergence
of the field because of the economic opportunities created by the new industry, and the
separate and uncoordinated actions of each constituent. In particular, each constituent
engaged in processes of curation and certification, co-presentation, commentary and critique,
and comparison and commensuration that created cognitive platforms for the new products,
thus enabling broader audiences to make sense of the industry. Despite being uncoordinated,
these actions had a cognitive impact similar to coordinated collective action, leading to the
institutionalization of the industry. I explain these findings using theories of cultural
production, and suggest that institutionalization may emerge without collective or
coordinated actions, as a result of contemporaneous actions of field constituents that
independently sanctify the value of goods with high uncertain and unknown value, which do
not compete with an entrenched referent. The findings of this paper suggest that we need to
understand contingencies in industry emergence more deeply, and contribute to our
understanding of organizations, fields, entrepreneurship, and institutions.

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