Divergent patterns in institutional entrepreneurship of MNCs in emerging economies. / Becker-Ritterspach, Florian; Lange, Knut; Becker-Ritterspach, Jutta.

In: Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2017, p. 186-203.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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  • Florian Becker-Ritterspach
  • Knut Lange
  • Jutta Becker-Ritterspach

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical framework that addresses the question of how and why multinational corporations (MNCs) from developed economies engage in divergent patterns of institutional entrepreneurship (IE) in emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach
The authors combine IB’s concept of institutional voids with comparative capitalism’s insights into the institutional embeddedness of firm capabilities and IE. This theoretical cross-fertilisation is instrumental in developing a refined understanding of institutional voids and how MNCs proactively engage with them.

Findings
The authors emphasise the notion of institutional voids as a relative concept and, thereby, move away from an ethnocentric view of emerging markets as “empty spaces” that are void of institutions. The authors’ framework proposes that MNCs from liberal and coordinated market economies experience institutional voids differently and engage in different patterns of IE.

Research limitations/implications
The main limitation of this work is that the propositions are restricted to the country-of-origin effect and that the observations are based on anecdotal evidence only. Against these limitations the authors call for a more comprehensive research agenda in their conclusion.

Social implications
The paper sensitises policymakers in emerging markets for the potentially different patterns of involvement of MNCs in their institutional environments. Specifically, the authors argue that MNCs may have a strong inclination to rebuild critical elements of their home country’s institutional setting in emerging markets. This touches upon questions of national sovereignty and highlights the need for emerging market policymakers to decide which kinds of institutional settings they would like or not like to see imported.

Originality/value
The paper provides a new and critical perspective of the mainstream IB concept of institutional voids. The authors’ key contribution is to highlight that the home country institutional context may substantially matter in how MNCs perceive and respond to institutional voids in emerging markets.proactively engage with them.

Findings
We emphasise the notion of institutional voids as a relative concept and, thereby, move away from an ethnocentric view of emerging markets as ‘empty spaces’ that are void of institutions. Our framework proposes that MNCs from liberal and coordinated market economies experience institutional voids differently and engage in different patterns of institutional entrepreneurship.

Research limitations/implications
The main limitation of our work is that we restrict our propositions to the country-of-origin effect and that we draw on anecdotal evidence only. Based on these limitations we call for a more comprehensive research agenda in our conclusion.

Social implications
The paper sensitises policymakers in emerging markets for the potentially different patterns of involvement of MNCs in their institutional environments. Specifically, we argue that MNCs may have a strong inclination to rebuild critical elements of their home country institutional setting in emerging markets. This touches upon questions of national sovereignty and highlights the need for emerging market policymakers to decide which kinds of institutional settings they would like or not like to see imported.

Originality/value
The paper provides a new and critical perspective of the mainstream International Business concept of institutional voids. Our key contribution is to highlight that the home country institutional context may substantially matter in how MNCs perceive and respond to institutional voids in emerging markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-203
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Perspectives on International Business
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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