Entrepreneurial sons, patriarchy and the Colonels' experiment in Thessaly, rural Greece

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Existing studies within the field of institutional entrepreneurship explore how entrepreneurs influence change in economic institutions. This paper turns the attention of scholarly inquiry on the antecedents of deinstitutionalization and more specifically, the influence of entrepreneurship in shaping social institutions such as patriarchy. The paper draws from the findings of ethnographic work in two Greek lowland village communities during the military Dictatorship (1967–1974). Paradoxically this era associated with the spread of mechanization, cheap credit, revaluation of labour and clear means-ends relations, signalled entrepreneurial sons’ individuated dissent and activism who were now able to question the Patriarch’s authority, recognize opportunities and act as unintentional agents of deinstitutionalization. A ‘different’ model of institutional change is presented here, where politics intersects with entrepreneurs, in changing social institutions. This model discusses the external drivers of institutional atrophy and how handling dissensus (and its varieties over historical time) is instrumental in enabling institutional entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-257
Number of pages23
JournalEntrepreneurship & Regional Development
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • family farming
  • institutional entrepreneurship
  • patriachy
  • peripherality
  • rural change
  • entrepreneur
  • family farm
  • institutional reform
  • rural development
  • rural economy
  • Greece
  • Thessaly

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