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Book part

J. Kenneth Benson and Byung-Soo Kim

New institutionalisms in economic and organizational sociology need grounding in theories of capitalism. Comparative studies show that multiple, viable forms of capitalism

Abstract

New institutionalisms in economic and organizational sociology need grounding in theories of capitalism. Comparative studies show that multiple, viable forms of capitalism have been constructed through the interplay of institutions, mobilizations of political power, and state policies. Further theoretical development requires attention to the contradictions of capitalism. Promising theoretical sources for this task are examined. The political process produces new forms of capitalist institutions, but contradictions built into those institutions cannot be fully resolved and provide the basis for new acts of social construction and power mobilization. The power and cultural arguments of the comparative institutionalists are joined, at least in aspiration, to theories of capitalist contradictions.

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Politics and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-178-7

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Article

Giulio Pedrini

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the attitude of European firms towards human resource management (HRM) configuration and HRM practices on a country-level basis…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the attitude of European firms towards human resource management (HRM) configuration and HRM practices on a country-level basis. Assuming the persistent relevance of institutional framework, the paper investigates the applicability of the varieties of capitalism (VoC) theory to these domains in European countries and their evolution between 1999 and 2005.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper selects and groups together variables that are related to both HRM configuration and HRM practices using data coming from the survey performed in 2005 by the Cranfield Network on International HRM. Then, a hierarchical cluster analysis among 16 European countries is performed. Relevant varieties are obtained through the combined application of two stopping rules.

Findings

Evidence shows that the evolution of HR policies over time is in line with an extended VoC approach that divides Europe in four VoC. One of these varieties (the “State” model), however, is not validated after a robustness check.

Practical implications

For HR managers, the implementation of common personnel policies within the same variety of capitalism could represent a potential fertile ground for beneficial interactions and mutual learning among HR functions. In particular, the classification suggested in the paper does matter if an intervention on HRM practices is accompanied by a change in the participation of the HR department to the decision-making process and/or in the delegation of responsibilities between the HR department and the line management.

Originality/value

The authors’ results contribute to the debate on the relationship between HRM and institutional context in two ways. First, they show that an extended VoC framework can explain the differentiation among European countries with regard to HRM domains. Notably, the correlation between the structure of the HR function and the intensity of HRM practices generates a clusterization of European countries based on at least three models of capitalism. Second, it emerges from the analysis that a substantial shift occurred with respect to the previous wave of the survey together with an increase of similarities between countries.

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Article

Alvaro Cristiani and José María Peiró

The purpose of this paper is to explore varieties of capitalism (VoC) as a moderator of the effect of: the strategic HR function role; and the level of union presence on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore varieties of capitalism (VoC) as a moderator of the effect of: the strategic HR function role; and the level of union presence on the adoption of different human resource management (HRM) practices categorized as either person-centered or performance-centered.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data on both multinationals and locally owned firms from 14 OECD countries, collected through the Cranet 2009 survey. The hypotheses of the proposed model were tested using hierarchical multiple regression analysis.

Findings

Evidence shows that the strategic HR function is positively related to the adoption of both types of HRM practices, whereas higher levels of union presence inhibit the adoption of performance-centered practices and promote the adoption of person-centered practices. In addition, although VoC does not show any significant direct effects on HR practices, there is a moderating effect of VoC on the HR function role – HRM practices and union presence – HRM practices relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The use of survey data with single respondents might produce reliability problems. Additionally, the data used are cross-sectional, which means that causality cannot be determined.

Practical implications

Managers in multinationals corporations and local firms must be aware of the distinct effects of the strategic HR function and trade union presence in different market economies. In particular, special attention must be paid when a firm expands globally, “outside the reach” of the national market economy or type of capitalism, and operates in different VoC.

Originality/value

The present paper contributes to better understanding the influence of VoC, not only on HRM practices, as in previous research, but also on the relationships between the HR function role and the level of union presence and the types of practices promoted.

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Employee Relations, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Book part

Gregory Jackson, Markus Helfen, Rami Kaplan, Anja Kirsch and Nora Lohmeyer

This chapter addresses the concern that much theory building in organization and management (OM) research suffers from de-contextualization. The authors argue that…

Abstract

This chapter addresses the concern that much theory building in organization and management (OM) research suffers from de-contextualization. The authors argue that de-contextualization comes in two main forms: reductionism and grand theory. Whereas reductionism tends to downplay context in favor of individual behavior, grand theory looks at context only in highly abstract ahistorical terms. Such de-contextualization is problematic for at least two reasons. First, the boundary conditions of theories remain unexplored in ways that threaten scientific validity. Second, de-contextualization limits the potential of OM theory to fully understand the role of organizations in society and thereby address societal grand challenges. These claims are exemplified through critical reviews of four fields in OM research – gender, employee voice, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and institutional logics – and counterpoints that may help to overcome de-contextualized research are presented.

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The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-183-4

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Article

Florian Becker-Ritterspach, Knut Lange and Jutta Becker-Ritterspach

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…

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.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Abstract

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Multinational Corporations and Organization Theory: Post Millennium Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-386-3

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Article

Jack Smothers, Mario Hayek, Leigh Ann Bynum, Milorad M. Novicevic, M. Ronald Buckley and Shawn Carraher

The purpose of this paper is to summarize the life and works of Alfred Chandler and highlight the impact of his thoughts on organizational theory, strategy and history.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to summarize the life and works of Alfred Chandler and highlight the impact of his thoughts on organizational theory, strategy and history.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes Alfred Chandler's life and the lasting contributions his works have provided to many disciplines as well as the work of his revisionists. Furthermore, the paper analyzes his contributions to the understanding of US business history and global business history.

Findings

Chandler's conceptualization of the growth of large business and management practices have shaped business history by transitioning from an American exceptionalist view to a more global comparative perspective.

Practical implications

The paper provides Chandler's insights as well as those of his revisionists regarding USA and comparative global business history.

Originality/value

The paper highlights Chandler's cross‐disciplinary impact and analyzes Chandlerian and revisionist perspectives in both the American exceptionalist as well as the global comparative eras of Chandler's life.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article

Michel Hermans and Armando Borda Reyes

This study aims to draw researchers’ attention to the need to differentiate within the emerging market multinational companies (EMNCs) category. This study focuses on…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to draw researchers’ attention to the need to differentiate within the emerging market multinational companies (EMNCs) category. This study focuses on international business in Latin America to argue that the region’s specific institutional characteristics have consequences for within-firm decision-making regarding internationalization strategies. Additionally, the study suggests that to develop a more specific understanding of international business in emerging markets, it is important to consider how decision-makers define value and how they can capture such value.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach used in this study draws on the bathtub analogy used in micro-foundations research in international business. It proposes a multilevel analysis in which micro-level variation in within-firm decision-making is considered, while accounting for the conditioning effects of macro-level contextual factors.

Findings

The study identifies characteristics of the Latin American institutional context that are relevant to international business strategies and that potentially differ from other emerging market contexts. These include the pendular shifts to and from pro-market economic reform, fragmented government intervention in business, underdeveloped capital markets, low competition among firms and polarized labor markets. The study explains how these characteristics shape the definition of value and firm strategies to capture value in international markets, and provides examples from firms in different industries.

Originality/value

This study applies a value creation and capture perspective to international business in Latin America, allowing for the simultaneous consideration of macrolevel institutional characteristics and microlevel variation in decision-making regarding internationalization strategies. This perspective not only helps to distinguish Latin American EMNCs from companies from other emerging market contexts, but also explains the considerable variation in the internationalization strategies of firms within the region.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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Book part

D.W. MacKenzie

In the original history of the socialist calculation debate (e.g., Bergson, 1948), Oscar Lange proved that bureaucrats can find the equivalent of equilibrium prices…

Abstract

In the original history of the socialist calculation debate (e.g., Bergson, 1948), Oscar Lange proved that bureaucrats can find the equivalent of equilibrium prices through trial and error. In the revised history of this debate (e.g., Caldwell, 1997; Lavoie, 1985), Lange proposed an erroneous solution to the calculation problem. Dynamic entrepreneurial rivalry moves prices toward equilibrium. Lange and other “Market Socialists” allies thought only in terms of a static competitive market equilibrium that excludes the role entrepreneurs play in adjusting prices.

Details

Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-006-3

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Article

Matthew M.C. Allen and Maria L. Aldred

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which institutional convergence has taken place in the new European Union (EU) member states. It does so by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which institutional convergence has taken place in the new European Union (EU) member states. It does so by contrasting arguments that are inspired by transaction‐cost economics within the mainstream international‐business literature and contentions within the comparativecapitalisms perspective. A corollary of arguments within the former is that those countries that have less transparent ways of doing business will post poorer economic growth records than those with more predictable and less costly regulations. By contrast, contentions within the comparativecapitalisms literature lead to expectations that a broader set of institutional factors will shape economic growth.

Design/methodology/approach

The article adopts a fuzzy‐set qualitative comparative analysis approach to examine the necessary and sufficient causal conditions for economic growth in the region.

Findings

There is a great deal of institutional diversity within the new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe. There are no clusters of countries around a specific variety of capitalism or an economic model that has above‐average economic growth rates and that is characterized by institutions that lower the costs of market transacting. This, in turn, suggests that convergence pressures are not as great as the mainstream international‐business literature has argued.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could complement this study by adopting a cross‐country, comparative micro‐ or firm‐level approach to examine the ways in which different institutional factors, both individually and collectively, shape the growth of businesses and consequently, economies.

Originality/value

Mainstream international business tends to focus on regulation and market‐supporting institutions to explain growth in developing economies. This research has shown that a broader view of institutions needs to be adopted, as some countries have been able to post strong economic growth figures despite institutional environments that do not lower the costs of market‐based contracting.

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