This paper studies how complex field-positions, characterized by combinations of structural and cultural mechanisms, are associated with the non-imitation of dominant field-level practices. Theoretically, the notion of complex field-position complements prior institutional research on fieldpositions and non-imitation, which focuses primarily on structural mechanisms. Our empirical study looks at 62 Australian fine-wines, using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to identify combinations of structural and cultural mechanisms associated with the non-imitation of Penfolds Grange, a role model in the Australian fine-wine field. We find three distinct complex field-positions—pioneers, strangers, and insulars— which occurred at different moments in the history of this field. We build on these findings to discuss the importance of complex field-positions as sources of positional opportunities, and their role in the development and persistence of diversity in organizational fields.
Grégoire Croidieu, Charles-Clemens Rüling, Bilal-Ahmed Jathol. 2017. Complex field-positions and non-imitation: Pioneers, strangers, and insulars in Australian fine-wine, M@n@gement, 20(2): 129-165, first published 5 July 2017: http://www.management-aims.com/download.php?id=347&l=en&f=en_1499784364.pdf