Institutional work in diverse niche contexts: the case of low-carbon housing in the Netherlands

Didi van Doren, Hens Runhaar, Rob P.J.M. Raven, Mendel Giezen, Peter P.J. Driessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Literature on sustainability transitions advocates the institutionalisation of niche innovations and assigns an important role for institutional work in this respect. Previous work has conceptually and empirically substantiated a range of strategies that institutional entrepreneurs perform. However, little is known about how institutional entrepreneurs engage differently in institutional strategies across different dynamic niche contexts. We distinguish between four different niche contexts: market-based niche development, market-based regime transformation, community-based niche development and community-based regime transformation. This typology is then conceptually combined with theory on institutional entrepreneurship and institutional work to examine the diverse agential processes of institutional change through which actors shape and transform their institutional environments. The usefulness of this framework is explored in an analysis of the low-carbon building stock in the Netherlands. The analysis demonstrates that the framework offers a comprehensive approach to examine variety in the arsenal of strategies of institutional work across different contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-134
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Built environment
  • Institutional work
  • Niche innovations
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Typology of strategies

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