Actors in institutional fields are often subject to differing assumptions, discrete logics, and pressures that may cause them to respond in a variety of ways (innovatively, locally, reflexively, etc.). Further, physical network dispersion and competing individual agendas compounds the situation. Nonetheless, these heterogeneous actors are sometimes able to collectively engage in institutional entrepreneurship. Hence, our main research question is: How do dispersed actors engage in collective institutional entrepreneurship?

Scholars suggest that a focus on the processes of institutional emergence and distributed agency would be of great value in institutional entrepreneurship research, as it would provide a more holistic account of institutional action (Lawrence et al., 2011). The paper takes a holistic approach by considering the unique conditions (institutions and actors) and collaborative relationships in the insurance and ambulance industries that resulted in the emergence of a new proto institution.