The many roles of change agency in the game of green path development in the North

The rapidly expanding stream of path development studies recognises that translating observations from past paths to conscious path creation requires conceptually linking agency to path development frameworks. Actors frame issues about and for the future, coordinate their actions in the present and make sense of what may have transpired in the past. The main objective of the paper is to explore the roles that actors play in green path development by answering the following main research questions: (a) Who are the core actors in green path development in the Nordic regions, ie. in industrial development around products, solutions or technologies that make regional economies more sustainable? (b) What are their main roles in relation to other actors? (c) What are the differences and similarities between the regions in terms of agency? The paper explores whether similar actors take on different roles in different regions and whether different actors may assume similar roles. For the empirical analysis, we identified seven roles in change agency. The empirical results showed that institutional entrepreneurship was the core of change agency in conjunction with innovative entrepreneurship and place-based leadership. The other four roles supported path development efforts. The results also show that institutional entrepreneurship is not a solo activity but a collective form of agency and that well-functioning shared institutional entrepreneurship may have a chance to change institutions for green path development.

Sotarauta, M., Suvinen, N., Jolly, S. & Hansen, T. 2020. The many roles of change agency in the game of green path development in the North. European Urban and Regional Studies,


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