Green to Gone? Regional Institutional Logics and Firm Survival in Moral Markets

Siddharth Vedula, Jeffrey G. York, Michael Conger, Elizabeth Embry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A growing body of scholarship studies the emergence of moral markets—sectors offering market-based solutions to social and environmental issues. To date, researchers have largely focused on the drivers of firm entry into these values-laden sectors. However, we know comparatively little about postentry dynamics or the determinants of firm survival in moral markets. This study examines how regional institutional logics—spatially bound, socially constructed meaning systems that legitimize specific practices and goals within a community—shape firm survival in emerging moral markets. Using a unique panel of firms entering the first eight years of the U.S. green building supply industry, we find that (1) a regional market logic amplifies the impacts of market forces by increasing the positive impact of market adoption and the negative impact of localized competition on firm survival, (2) a regional proenvironmental logic dampens the impacts of adoption and competition on firm survival, and (3) institutional complexity—the co-occurrence of both market and proenvironmental logics in a region—negates the traditional advantages of de alio (diversifying incumbent) firms, creating an opportunity for de novo (entrepreneurial entrant) firms to compete more effectively. Our study integrates research on industry emergence, institutional logics, and firm survival to address important gaps in our knowledge regarding the evolution and growth of environmental entrepreneurship in moral markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2274-2299
Number of pages26
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • culture
  • entrepreneurship
  • institutional theory
  • organization and management theory
  • organizational ecology (population ecology)
  • organizational identity and identification
  • social responsibility
  • strategy
  • sustainability/corporate environmentalism


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