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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Florian Becker-Ritterspach, Katharina Simbeck and Raghda El Ebrashi

This paper aims to provide multinational corporations (MNCs) with a portfolio of corporate environmental responsibility (CER) responses that help curbing the exacerbated…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide multinational corporations (MNCs) with a portfolio of corporate environmental responsibility (CER) responses that help curbing the exacerbated negative environmental externalities caused by their business activities in emerging and developing economies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper transposes the market-related concept of institutional voids to the context of CER, that is, to the context of exacerbated negative environmental externalities as result of absent, weak or incoherent institutions.

Findings

This paper proposes that the transfer of products, processes and business models from developed to emerging or developing economies often gives rise to exacerbated negative externalities because of institutional voids in environmental protection. Thus, it suggests a portfolio of CER responses – circumventing, coping and compensating – that allow MNCs to mitigate the exacerbated negative environmental externalities caused by them.

Research limitations/implications

The authors present an analytical framework for identifying and navigating environment related institutional voids, which serves as a starting point for an action research approach. In tune with recent calls for critical performativity in critical management studies, the action research approach aims at tackling the real-life problem of exacerbated negative environmental externalities caused by MNCs’ activities in emerging and developing economies.

Social implications

This paper sensitizes scholars, policymakers and managers to exacerbated negative environmental externalities within the context of international business activities in emerging and developing economies. The contribution provides stakeholders with a better understanding of the causes as well as alternative responses to the problem.

Originality/value

This paper transposes the market-related concept of institutional voids and the strategic responses to dealing with them to the non-market context of CER. The authors argue that institutional voids can be seen as the absence or poor functioning of formal and informal institutions for environmental protection, resulting in exacerbated negative environmental externalities.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 15 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

Florian Becker‐Ritterspach, Ayse Saka‐Helmhout and Jasper J. Hotho

With a few exceptions, the mainstream literature on learning in multinational enterprises (MNEs) has shown little concern for the transformational nature and the social…

Abstract

Purpose

With a few exceptions, the mainstream literature on learning in multinational enterprises (MNEs) has shown little concern for the transformational nature and the social constitution of learning. This paper aims to address this gap by drawing on Scandinavian institutionalism, social learning perspectives, and comparative institutionalism.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative case study of two subsidiaries of the same MNE was conducted. The subsidiaries received similar practices from headquarters (HQ) but displayed contrasting learning outcomes.

Findings

It is shown that learning outcomes differed based on the varying extent to which practices were translated, which depends on the participation of local actors. The difference in participation pattern, in turn, is rooted in differences in the institutional context of the two subsidiaries.

Research limitations/implications

It is recognized that apart from institutional influences, organizational idiosyncrasies may be at work. In addition, the paper briefly considers the extent to which the notion of contrasting forms of capitalism is still useful when comparing the German and British institutional contexts.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the importance of involving employees in the translation of new practices. A challenge for MNEs is that learning of new practices can differ by institutional context. Where enabling institutional conditions are absent, conscious effort may be needed to ensure employee participation.

Originality/value

This paper highlights that MNE practice transfer rests on the translation of the practice content to the local context, and that subsidiary‐level learning processes may be institutionally embedded, thus establishing a link between subsidiary learning and the macro‐level context. As such, this paper both illustrates the value of social learning perspectives and the relevance of the work of institutionalists for understanding MNE learning processes.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 January 2012

Abstract

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Content available
Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Abstract

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 10 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

Joanne Roberts and George Cairns

Abstract

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

George Cairns and Joanne Roberts

The purpose of this extended editorial is to reflect on the journey of critical perspectives on international business over the past seven years and to look forward to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this extended editorial is to reflect on the journey of critical perspectives on international business over the past seven years and to look forward to future issues and potential concerns of the journal. In addition, the contents of the current issue are introduced.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the form of a conversation between the journal's co‐editors, the development of the journal and features of its content over the last seven years are discussed, and related to the ever changing external context. The current trends and concerns emerging in the field of international business are used to speculate on the future direction of the journal and its prospective content.

Findings

By tracing key points and features of the development of the journal over the past seven years, this paper identifies a growing need for critique of international business in all its various forms, and, especially from inter, multi and trans‐disciplinary perspectives.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to evaluate critical perspectives on international business. As such, it offers a foundation from which to speculate on the future development of both the journal and the field of critical studies on international business.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Susanne Blazejewski

Biculturals are portrayed as “ideal” boundary spanners and conflict mediators in MNC who switch between or transcend multiple cultural and/or organizational. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Biculturals are portrayed as “ideal” boundary spanners and conflict mediators in MNC who switch between or transcend multiple cultural and/or organizational. The paper aims to critically analyze the assumptions behind this positive view on dual identity in MNC and provide an alternative conceptualization re‐positioning dual identity as a situated and potentially contested process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper theoretically juxtaposes existing concepts of dual identity in the international business literature with recent advances in research on identity in organization studies and psychology as well as critical perspectives on identity.

Findings

A situated approach to biculturalism provides for a greater variety of identity management strategies corresponding to the metaphors of “surfer”, “soldier”, “struggler”, and “strategist” alike, depending on the identity repertoire available, the perceived situation at hand and the interactive processes of identity construction unfolding. From this perspective, the conflict potential associated with dual identity in MNC does not automatically dissolve as suggested by the literature so far, but depending on the situated enactment of dual identity might actually increase, intensify or even re‐direct the lines of conflict.

Research implications and limitations

The paper develops a comprehensive concept of situated bicultural identity processes in organizational contexts, which can serve as a guiding framework of further empirical research on biculturalism in MNC and also provides initial discussions about suitable hypotheses development in this area.

Originality/value

The international business literature so far is dominated by a limited understanding of biculturalism in MNC, strongly influenced by the concept of frame switching in cross‐cultural psychology. The paper introduces an alternative concept of biculturalism as a situated process, which can serve as a framework for further and more varied research on biculturalist identity negotiation in MNC.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Jasper Hotho and Verena Girschik

The purpose of this paper is to open up new lines of research into the engagement of corporations during humanitarian crises. The paper provides an introduction to core…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to open up new lines of research into the engagement of corporations during humanitarian crises. The paper provides an introduction to core concepts in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as a comprehensive overview of when, why, how, and to what effect corporations engage in humanitarian action.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on extant literature and policy reports, the paper synthesizes concepts and insights to map the interdisciplinary field of research on corporate engagement in humanitarian action.

Findings

The paper systematically reviews and describes different dimensions of corporate engagement for delivering humanitarian action and explains key complications that inspire new research questions. In particular, the paper highlights challenges associated with getting corporations to engage in humanitarian action; challenges associated with ensuring effective corporate engagement; and challenges associated with ensuring ethical engagement.

Originality/value

By raising new questions about corporate engagement in humanitarian action, this paper develops an original and positive research agenda for international business, management research, and related fields.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 15 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Gary B. Herrigel

The purpose of this paper is to apply experimentalist framework to understand self-optimizing efforts within German manufacturing multinationals. Benefits and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply experimentalist framework to understand self-optimizing efforts within German manufacturing multinationals. Benefits and characteristic obstacles to diffusion are discussed. Mechanisms for combatting obstacles are outlined.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative case studies, interview-based research, processual and reflexive action theory are applied to the governance of manufacturing-based multinational enterprises.

Findings

Uncertainty is an ineradicable element in multinational companies (MNC) FDI operations. Self-optimizing systems, many with an experimentalist character, are a pervasive form of response to this uncertainty. Obstacles to the diffusion and effective operation of self-optimization are chronic and, indeed, endogenously generated. But as a result, so are superordinate efforts to undercut the continuous emergence of obstacles. MNC development is, thus, characterized by continuous self-recomposition.

Research limitations/implications

Implication is that managers and management theorists should focus as much on the management of dynamic process and learning that results in the recomposition of institutional rules as they do on the constraining and enabling effects of those rules.

Practical implications

Superordinate mechanisms for the disruption of incipient insulation and exclusion are crucial for the implementation of successful experimentalist (learning) systems.

Social implications

Transparency, stakeholder involvement in MNC governance processes has positive implications for learning, innovation and competitiveness.

Originality/value

This paper presents the application of experimentalist learning theory to MNC global governance.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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