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Assembling a Field into Place: Smart-City Development in Japan


ISBN: 978-1-78635-915-5, eISBN: 978-1-78635-914-8

Publication date: 24 March 2017


We examine the concept of ‘organisational fields’, a notion employed frequently, but at times with inconsistency, to describe supra-industrial conglomerations of organisations with a mutual interest. We find this concept analytically useful in today’s world of rapid technological change and of organisations searching for business across industry boundaries. With our study of smart-city development in Japan, we provide an alternative theory to the predominant socio-cognitive explanations of how organisational fields emerge. Based on our empirical case, the drivers for the early development of an organisational field are concrete organisational actions to assemble the tangible objects of the new field.




R. A. Nyberg gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Canon Foundation Europe, and the SRA Fund of the Said Business School of University of Oxford. R. A. Nyberg also wishes to acknowledge institutional support by University of Oxford, Institute of Science, Innovation and Society; by University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Public Policy and by George Mason University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology. We also thank Marc Ventresca and the volume Editors for comments on an earlier version of this text.


Nyberg, R.A. and Yarime, M. (2017), "Assembling a Field into Place: Smart-City Development in Japan", Emergence (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 50), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 253-279.



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