Institutional entrepreneurship has been discussed as a concept to resolve the theoretical question as to how an institutionalized actor can transform institutions. Previous studies have attempted to resolve this question in diverse ways, but these attempts have not provided adequate answers. First, the elite theory evoked by Schumpeter was based on entrepreneurs considered as exogenous factors of an institution; however, with economical development, entrepreneurs are embedded within institutionalized capitalism. Second, institutional organization theorists, who have studied institutional entrepreneurship, have failed to resolve the paradox of an embedded agency which is seen as circulative definition and institutional center-peripheral position of entrepreneurs, because of their understandings of institutions. Third, new institutional theorists, focused on the cognitive origins of institutions, have also failed to analyze the practices of institutional entrepreneurs by considering previous understanding of institutions. We can develop a theoretical conception to resolve these difficulties. Our study aims to propose a systematic explanation of institutional entrepreneurship by discussing a methodological approach to criticize our own understanding of an institution, the theoretical meaning to explanation power relation within the political process of institutionalization, and the research agenda for the analysis of rationality and competition within an institution.
Institutional Entrepreneurship，Institutional Organization Theory，Institutional Change，the Paradox of Embedded Agency，Metaphorical Pathos