Constructing markets and shaping boundaries: entrepreneurial power in nascent fields

Filipe Santos*, Kathleen Eisenhardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

738 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-671
Number of pages29
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


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