Description: The aim of the course is to explore the relationship between political, economic, social and cultural institutions on the one hand and technological development on the other hand with a focus on analyzing:

a. How specific institutional settings further specific technological developments and often lock the development into resource inefficient path.
b. Whether and how institutional settings can be changed in order to promote new resource efficient technological developments.
The course is targeted at clarifying how analyses of this kind can be used and exemplified in the projects of the participants in the course.
With an emphasis on environmental and energy policies, this course will give in-depth knowledge about institutional theory and how it can be applied to current real world examples in order to achieve a better understanding of the links between technological development and implementation, and the actual institutions in which they are embedded. This again should make it possible for the participants to explore and suggest new institutional set-ups that will further the technological systems wanted by specific organizations, as for instance companies, municipalities, states, etc.
The course will look at institutional theory from an interdisciplinary perspective. It begins with an introductory overview of Institutional Theory, where basic concepts will be discussed from different points of view and using literature from different research orientations. One block will focus on economic models and how they shape and influence institutions with a focus on the influence of neoclassical economics on the methods of project evaluation. Examples of application of the theory will be presented. Another block will focus on resource appropriation, governance and technological development in an institutional and discourse perspective. A final block will focus on the application of Institutional Theory through examples of the research of the participants.

Organizer: Professor Frede Hvelplund, email: and Associate Professor Ole Busck, email:

Lecturers: Frede Hvelplund, Ole Busck, Anne Merrild Hansen


Time: 20-22 May, 2015, 20-21 May 10:00-16:00, 22 May 10:00-14:00

Place: Aalborg University, Nybrogade 6 1.133

Zip code: 9000

City: Aalborg

Number of seats: 20

Deadline: 29 April, 2015