Neoinstitutional theory has relatively neglected the process of new practices evolving into ""protoinstitutions"". As these are important elements in understanding institutional change, the paper utilises institutional theory and adopts a historical perspective to generate propositions by examining the genesis of a practice (socially responsible investment funds), with emergent and contrary logics, in an increasingly mature organisational field (financial services) with dominant logics. Apart from identifying the inus conditions that determine the success or failure of new practices, it is also illustrated that the process did not follow the existing generalisations on institutional change due to certain crucial factors, such as the nature of (and pressures exerted by) the incumbent institutions and logics, the nature of the new practice, and the presence (or absence) of certain events. Additionally, in mature organisational fields, the demolition of existing dominant logics and incumbent institutions so as to make room for the new logics and institutions is not easily achievable especially when a new practice differs from the incumbents on the basis of its driving logics. The unlikely institutional entrepreneurs use legitimisation strategies and a new practice is generally successful if its logics are congruent with the dominant logic. If not, the practice may undergo a period of dormancy. This can be circumvented by capitalising on exogenous events that favour the new practice.