MUSTS Colloquium with Taneli Vaskelainen: The Role of Institutional Logics in the Formation of New Markets

Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 15:30-17:00
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Grote Gracht 80-82, Attic

Taneli Vaskelainn
The Role of Institutional Logics in the Formation of New Markets – The Case of Carsharing in Germany

Research on business and management has thus far largely started from the assumption that after the introduction phase of the industry life cycle, most industries become dominated by large corporations and organizations with ideological motivations stand aside. However, markets created by alternative economic models, such as the sharing economy, the circular economy and distributed communal energy, are challenging this assumption. In my presentation I demonstrate how the institutional logics perspective can be used to examine the formation of these markets and capture the bases for strategy and organizing of the ideology driven actors.

My presentation has two parts. In the first part, I present an article co-authored with Karla Münzel to explain the utility of the institutional logics perspective in studying the sharing economy. The paper describes the effects of institutional logics in the context of business model development in the German carsharing industry. We longitudinally analyze a rich qualitative dataset from the start of professional carsharing in 1988 to 2015 to uncover the forces influencing the business models. We find that the two main business models—the free-floating model and the station-based model—have developed along disparate trajectories because the actors in the market are committed to different institutional logics. Corporate-backed companies that operate the free-floating business model are committed to corporation logic, and the small, environmentally minded organizations that operate in a station-based model are committed to community logic. In the second part of my presentation, I present ideas on how institutional logics perspective can be used in studying alternative economic models. Furthermore, I present indicative suggestions on how institutional logics perspective might link to the research on sustainability transitions.

Taneli Vaskelainen is an assistant professor in Innovation Studies Group of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. His research interests lie in the emergence dynamics of new industries and market categories. His studies mostly focus on empirical contexts with a promise of contributing to a more sustainable society (e.g. the sharing economy). Theoretically he approaches the studied phenomena using multiple theoretical lenses including business model development, market categorization practices and institutional theory. His work has been published in Academy of Management Discoveries and Information Systems and e-Business Management.