Research Article

Network Bricolage as the Reconciliation of Indigenous and Transplanted Institutions in Africa


This paper argues that network bricolage can play an important role in reconciling informal indigenous institutions rooted in African history with formal institutions mostly transplanted from outside. Drawing on the literature on bricolage, social entrepreneurship, networks and institutional entrepreneurship, and illustrated with an example, we define network bricolage as a process that involves interest alignment and a relational governance structure among network actors. Our analysis distinguishes network bricolage from organizational-level bricolage and develops a theory to explain it. A greater understanding of network bricolage has important implications for the theory and practice of entrepreneurship in Africa, including the need to understand the deeper ontological and epistemological assumptions that underpin informal and formal institutions.

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