Historical Social Research

Robert Peters:The Interrelationship between Structure and Collective Actors: A Concept for a Dynamic-Reciprocal Model of Structural Change. [Abstract]

The purpose of this article is to explain the emergence of a new practice (i.e., relocation) and the role of entrepreneurial groups in this emergence based on the revealing case of the early-modern needle industry in Germany. In the 18th century, Aachen became the leading location for needle production in the entire western world. The city’s industrial rise was intrinsically linked to the emergence of an entrepreneurial group: A small group of needlemakers oligopolized the regional needle branch within a few years and created substantial competitive advantages for the production site. In order to analyze the reciprocity of structure and agency, I draw on Wolfgang König’s agency-structure concept (ASC) and Paul Thomes’ three-phase change model (TCM). I integrate both approaches into a dynamic-reciprocal model of structural change (DRSC). By doing so, I aim to amplify the concept of institutional entrepreneurship (IE).

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