Bricolage versus breakthrough: Distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship

Raghu Garud, Peter Karnøe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1138 Scopus citations


We develop a perspective on technology entrepreneurship as involving agency that is distributed across different kinds of actors. Each actor becomes involved with a technology, and, in the process, generates inputs that result in the transformation of an emerging technological path. The steady accumulation of inputs to a technological path generates a momentum that enables and constrains the activities of distributed actors. In other words, agency is not only distributed, but it is embedded as well. We explicate this perspective through a comparative study of processes underlying the emergence of wind turbines in Denmark and in United States. Through our comparative study, we flesh out "bricolage" and "breakthrough" as contrasting approaches to the engagement of actors in shaping technological paths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-300
Number of pages24
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number2 SPEC.
StatePublished - Feb 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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