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Staying poor: Unpacking the process of barefoot institutional entrepreneurship failure

Granados, M. L., Rosli, A. & Gotsi, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-2986-7567 (2022). Staying poor: Unpacking the process of barefoot institutional entrepreneurship failure. Journal of Business Venturing, 37(3), article number 106204. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2022.106204


Research on barefoot entrepreneurship is growing, yet we still know little about the potential limits of institutional entrepreneurship in the context of extreme poverty. Challenging institutional entrepreneurship theory's agency-centric assumptions, we seek to understand how barefoot institutional entrepreneurship efforts fail amidst resistance from powerful actors in the institutional context. Our qualitative study of marginalized waste pickers in Colombia sheds light on the role of power in barefoot institutional entrepreneurship failure. We unpack a paradox of inclusion: the more marginalized barefoot entrepreneurs push for and gain regulatory legitimacy for their market inclusion, the more this accentuates overt and covert power mechanisms that work to suppress the diffusion of institutional change, aggravating barefoot entrepreneurs' market exclusion. Our study shows that while regulatory change is necessary to enhance barefoot entrepreneurs' market inclusion, on its own it is not sufficient, without normative and cognitive support from powerful actors in the institutional field.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license and permits non-commercial use of the work as published, without adaptation or alteration provided the work is fully attributed.
Publisher Keywords: Barefoot institutional entrepreneurship, Failure, Power mechanisms, Market inclusion, Paradox of inclusion, Process
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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