We explore how large incumbent organisations shape emerging technological fields while establishing a position and business opportunities for themselves during technological shifts. We draw from innovation studies that increasingly emphasise the ability of incumbent organisations to survive technological transformations and studies on emerging technological fields to identify ways in which incumbent organisations shape novel fields during their emergence. Through longitudinal case studies of two emerging fields, we examine how incumbents shape the emerging technological fields of solar energy and electric vehicles. We discuss the interlinked and cumulative business and discursive activities utilized by the incumbents as well as the mechanism through which they influence the legitimacy, expectations and field boundaries of the emerging technological fields. Our study draws attention to the fact that incumbents enter emerging fields at an earlier stage and in more diverse ways than has previously been noted.
- 512 Företagsekonomi