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How do group affiliates benefit from dual legitimacy to acquire resources in emerging economies? Evidence from China

Xiaoyong Zheng (Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, China)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 2 February 2021

Issue publication date: 17 June 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationships between the group affiliates’ dual legitimacy (membership legitimacy and societal legitimacy) and dual resource acquisition (intra-group and out-group), and the moderating roles of environmental uncertainty and munificence in the emerging economies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts hierarchical regression analysis to test the hypotheses based on the unique data of 251 group affiliated firms in China and applies the alternative measurements and alternative methodology of structural equation modeling into robustness check to confirm the results.

Findings

The results show as follows: the group affiliates can benefit from membership legitimacy for intra-group resource acquisition and out-group resource acquisition through the mediations of societal legitimacy and intra-group resource acquisition. However, in the linkage between affiliates’ membership legitimacy and intra-group resource acquisition and the linkage between societal legitimacy and out-group resource acquisition, environmental uncertainty plays the positive moderating roles while environmental munificence plays the negative moderating roles. Under the condition of high environmental uncertainty and low environmental munificence, the linkage between membership legitimacy and intra-group resource acquisition, and the linkage between societal legitimacy and out-group resource acquisition reach the strongest level.

Research limitations/implications

The findings highlight the importance of dual legitimacy building for group affiliates to acquire resources both inside and outside the business group when they operate in emerging economies characterized by high environmental uncertainty and low environmental munificence. However, it does not explore the contextual factors (e.g. institutional distance) affecting the relationship between the affiliate’s membership legitimacy and societal legitimacy. Then more group-level factors are expected to be included and explored with multi-level models in the future studies.

Originality/value

The findings reveal the mechanism of how group affiliates benefiting differently from dual legitimacy to acquire resources in the emerging economies, which also provide a new interpretation for the questions of who benefiting more from the group affiliation, how and why (Carney et al., 2009). This research also explores the moderating roles of task environmental characteristics (environmental uncertainty and environmental munificence) on the affiliate's dual legitimacy and dual resource acquisition, which helps understand why legitimacy building is more important in terms of resource acquisition in the emerging economy characterized by uncertainty and non-munificence.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The Major Project of Humanities and Social Science in Universities of Zhejiang Province 2016QN034. The National Social Science Fund of China: 17FGL002.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Citation

Zheng, X. (2021), "How do group affiliates benefit from dual legitimacy to acquire resources in emerging economies? Evidence from China", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 688-724. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-08-2020-0354

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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