ABSTRACT We explore purposive institutional change and the role of institutional entrepreneurs in initiating and driving relational learning processes. Supplementing new institutionalist theory with an institutional learning lens and using a longitudinal set of rich qualitative interview and observation data, we investigate how institutional entrepreneurs engage in transformational work to effectuate change in dominant institutional logics, thus transforming the institutional field. We propose that institutional entrepreneurs, by skilfully utilizing discursive and material practices to catalyze reciprocal learning processes, can introduce a new institutional logic and ensure its adoption and internalization by pivotal actors and stakeholders. We illustrate these dynamics using a municipality situated in Northern Finland as an example. The municipality has successfully managed to transform its food services as part of efforts to develop more sustainable regional economies and communities. It offers a rare case of successful purposive institutional change and an interesting best practice example both nationally and internationally.

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