Informations and abstract
The New institutional economics stresses regulative, routine and rational choice aspects in the interplay between institutions and actors, while economic sociology also stresses the constitutive aspects of institutional rules and, still more, the cognitive, value and creative-entrepreneurial dimensions of human action. Therefore, the sociological approach permits a better understanding of the phenomenon of institutional innovation, conceived as the establishment of new ways of warranting order and variety in economic life. While institutional innovation can be incremental, radical innovations emerge whenever previous institutional arrangements are strongly inefficient and there are institutional leaders endowed with cognitive and entrepreneurial resources capable of overcoming the occurring dilemmas of collective action. The introduction also considers the multi-dimensional and internally contrasting character of institutional efficiency, eventually presenting the four case studies of this journal's issue.