Based on an in-depth case study investigating the emergence of a normative institution, namely the diesel particulate filter (DPF) as a de facto standard for diesel cars in Germany, this paper develops a dualistic process model of institutional emergence which reflects the fundamental oppositional character of institutional actors involved in a series of framing contests. The proposed model features distinct phases punctuated by turning point mechanisms that shape the process leading to institutional emergence. Three specific turning point mechanisms were identified: local objectification, movement legitimacy and critical actors taking action. This model provides a novel perspective on institutional emergence in that it explains shifts in contestation and the emergence of an institution as a temporal resolution reached through coercion rather than out of a consensus as several institutionalization models assume. The results also suggest that the industry under attack from a social movement tends to deploy buffering strategies in an attempt to protect itself. Finally, we outline future directions for studying processes around contested fields and turning point mechanisms.