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Vision and Change in Institutional Entrepreneurship

Vision and Change in Institutional Entrepreneurship: The Transformation from Science to Commercialization

Israel Drori
Dana Landau
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Vision and Change in Institutional Entrepreneurship
    Book Description:

    Sheltered for a long time within the public sector environment with high job security and professional research autonomy, defense R&D organizations faced unprecedented challenges when government support was being withdrawn and closure threatening. They needed to be led by a suitable vision in order to implement comprehensive changes to their operations and remain viable. This study explores this constitution of vision as a mechanism of intentional change, a strategic tool to reach the desired future for the organization. Going beyond the current literature, the authors ask to what extent, and how, organizational members reconstruct vision in a way that it can support or detain change, a question of importance for management scholars as well as professional managers in both public and private organizations.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-984-0
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology, Business

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    For many years, the character of defense research and development (R&D) organizations tended to be a mission-oriented one, which assumed that their roles should flow directly from national missions and avoid extending beyond these in pursuit of other goals. Following this mission paradigm, defense R&D organizations tended to adopt a “one-track” raison d’être based upon strong national standards. Accordingly, their aspirations regarding the future were not anchored in profit-making goals, but sought to contribute only to national well-being and security.

    As might be expected, such ideological views were expressed in organizations’ respective vision statements. Though the original vision statements of...

  6. Chapter 2 Methodology
    (pp. 11-19)

    Ethnographic fieldwork, conducted between November 1995 and December 1998 at Gamma, and additional work in 2001–2002, constitutes the basis of this book. Gaining entry and permission to conduct research within an organization bound by strict secrecy is not usually an easy endeavor. However, the opportunity arose when we were invited to participate in a consulting and research project aimed at designing an organizational change process. With the consent of Gamma’s management, the project was designed, at its inception, to involve a long phase of ethnographic data collection. Gamma’s executives preferred the “vagueness” of long-term ethnographic fieldwork to more ”concise”...

  7. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework
    (pp. 20-40)

    This chapter presents an analytical framework that will be used in this study to assess how Gamma underwent a prolonged process of transformation. This transformation was initiated by the management, under the leadership of a highly motivated general manager, who detected opportunity for transformation that entailed the creation of new meaning and values. The analytical framework integrates theoretical perspectives that are based on institutional entrepreneurship approaches to change, the nature of planned change interventions, the meaning and significance of organizational constructs associated with the change such as: vision, and the nature of the interrelationships between vision and organizational change, legitimacy,...

  8. Chapter 4 Gamma: The Evolution of a Governmental R&D Organization
    (pp. 41-61)

    On 8 December 1953, President Eisenhower unveiled his “Atoms for Peace” program to the United Nations, bringing an end to the American policy of nuclear secrecy that had been maintained since 1945. In 1954, the United States began to declassify and distribute a huge amount of nuclear research data, and lifted prohibitions on the export of research reactors. Israel, then a country in its early stages of development, was granted a research reactor from the US government and a contract for research cooperation between the two countries was signed.

    In 1958, the Israeli Nuclear Energy Commission established Gamma for the...

  9. Chapter 5 Survival: The Pressure for Change
    (pp. 62-72)

    It appears that the concept of survival provided Gamma’s members a means to cope with changes in the face of seeming threats to Gamma’s identity and core features (Collins and Porras 1994; Hannan and Freeman 1984). Survival notions were promoted to encourage those who resisted change to accept temporary and unconventional measures while preserving Gamma’s original vision. For those who identified with the need to change, survival signified an immediate objective that needed to be met. For others who felt uncertain or confused about Gamma’s vision and future goals, survival was an interim means for helping them cope with the...

  10. Chapter 6 Change in Style, Change in Form: Regenerating the Organizational Structure
    (pp. 73-81)

    There is general consensus among organizational scholars that today’s organizations are operating in a turbulent era, one in which their environments have faced constant and rapid fluctuations (Beckhard and Harris 1987; Bennis 1966; Benveniste 1994; Howard and Geist 1995; Mohrman and Mohrman 1989). The need to keep up with such an accelerating pace of oscillation, and remain flexible, effective, and responsive, often serves as the trigger for initiating change.

    Thus, managing and implementing change has become, perhaps, one of the most critical factors for the successful management of organizations (e.g., Buchanan and Boddy 1992; Jarrar and Aspinwall 1999). Ideally, effective...

  11. Chapter 7 Sensemaking for Change: Striving for Coherent Sensemaking Accounts
    (pp. 82-90)

    As in most research laboratories, the scientists at Gamma viewed their professional identities in terms of individual knowledge production. Publishing in respectable, peer-reviewed scientific journals not only enhanced personal and professional prestige, it also served as the major institutional criterion for tenure and promotion. The notion of “publish or perish” was supported by the management and embedded in the local culture. Scientists at Gamma enjoyed broad academic freedom, pursuing research they found intellectually and personally stimulating.

    Scientists at Gamma perceived themselves as among the nation’s “favorite sons” and felt that they should be cared for and given the resources needed...

  12. Chapter 8 The Construction of Legitimacy for Change
    (pp. 91-104)

    In the following chapter, we describe the dominant legitimacy narratives that the scientists and managers subscribed to and used to describe Gamma’s past, present, and future, as well as the nature of its mission. The legitimacy narratives used by the scientists can be arranged along three dimensions: legitimacy creation narratives, which are those that reveal the largely agreed-upon legacy of the organization; legitimacy destruction narratives, consisting of “confrontational” accounts that outline the contradictions between the legacy practices of Gamma and current practices; and legitimacy reconciling narratives, which give semiotic and practical meaning to the change predicament. The last category of...

  13. Chapter 9 The Envisioning Process: Building an Entrepreneurial Vision
    (pp. 105-121)

    The importance of a vision in shaping an organization’s objectives and driving the formation of its strategies is based on the assumption that because of dramatic changes that can occur in the global environment, today’s successful strategies are unlikely to work in the changed world of tomorrow. With this in mind, a vision geared for success must suit a dynamic environment (Wind 2000). This was the rationale underlying management’s decision to initiate a process by which Gamma’s original vision would be revised and a new, entrepreneurial vision would be developed to replace it.

    This chapter focuses on the processes through...

  14. Chapter 10 The Task of Constructing Change: The Mechanism of Vision Creation
    (pp. 122-130)

    A wide gap between an organization’s current vision and the reality in which it operates may encourage the implementation of far-reaching organizational change. Some writers indicate that beyond having a significant part in the change process, vision also constitutes a major source of influence to initiate it (see, for example, Belgrad, Fisher, and Rayner 1988; Kanter, Stein, and Jick 1992; Kotter 1995; Porras and Robertson 1992; Porras and Silvers 1991). In alignment with this view, vision tends to be perceived as a facilitator of change and an instrumental tool necessary for engineering the process. Moreover, vision is seen as an...

  15. Chapter 11 Conclusions: Vision and Change in Gamma
    (pp. 131-141)

    In the past, defense R&D organizations were perceived as being missionoriented—that is, researchers concluded that these organizations’ roles flowed directly from national considerations (e.g., Dvir and Tishler 1999; Ham and Mowery 1998; Ringer and Strong 1998). Consequently, these organizations tended to avoid pursuing goals beyond their historical missions. Accordingly, defense R&D organizations were assumed, in the main, to adopt a one-track raison d’être based on strong national values. Hence, their aspirations regarding the future were not anchored in economic profit-making motives, but rather in what they could contribute to national well-being and security. As might be expected, such ideological...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 142-143)
  17. References
    (pp. 144-156)
  18. Index
    (pp. 157-159)