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Constructing Markets and Shaping Boundaries: Entrepreneurial Power in Nascent Fields.
Filipe Santos Kathleen Eisenhardt
We examine how entrepreneurs shape organizational boundaries and construct markets through an inductive, longitudinal study of five ventures. Our central contribution is a framework of how successful entrepreneurs attempt to dominate nascent markets by co-constructing organizational boundaries and market niches using three processes: claiming, demarcating, and controlling a market. We propose that power is the underlying boundary logic and indicate the “soft-power” strategies by which entrepreneurs compete in highly ambiguous markets. Overall, we develop a holistic view of organizational boundaries and offer insights into institutional entrepreneurship and resource dependence theories. Our most important contribution is reinvigorating the study of interorganizational power.