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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 4 October 2022

Donatella Depperu, Ilaria Galavotti and Federico Baraldi

This study aims to examine the multidimensional nature of institutional distance as a driver of acquisition decisions in emerging markets. Then, this study aims to offer a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the multidimensional nature of institutional distance as a driver of acquisition decisions in emerging markets. Then, this study aims to offer a nuanced perspective on the role of its various formal and informal dimensions by taking into account the potential contingency role played by a firm’s context experience.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on institutional economics and organizational institutionalism, this study explores the heterogeneity of institutional distance and its effects on the decision to enter emerging versus advanced markets through cross-border acquisitions. Thus, institutional distance is disentangled into its formal and informal dimensions, the former being captured by regulatory efficiency, country governance and financial development. Furthermore, our framework examines the moderating effect of an acquiring firm’s experience in institutionally similar environments, defined as context experience. The hypotheses are analyzed on a sample of 496 cross-border acquisitions by Italian companies in 41 countries from 2008 to 2018.

Findings

Findings indicate that at an increasing distance in terms of regulatory efficiency and financial development, acquiring firms are less likely to enter emerging markets, while informal institutional distance is positively associated with such acquisitions. Context experience mitigates the negative effect of formal distance and enhances the positive effect of informal distance.

Originality/value

This study contributes to institutional distance literature in multiple ways. First, by bridging institutional economics and organizational institutionalism and second, by examining the heterogeneity of formal and informal dimensions of distance, this study offers a finer-grained perspective on how institutional distance affects acquisition decisions. Finally, it offers a contingency perspective on the role of context experience.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2017

Palitha Konara and Vikrant Shirodkar

The possibility of institutional distance exerting an asymmetric effect on the entry strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs) has attracted recent scholarly…

Abstract

The possibility of institutional distance exerting an asymmetric effect on the entry strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs) has attracted recent scholarly attention. In this context, we re-examine the relationship described by Hernandez and Nieto (2015) on the effect of the direction of regulatory institutional distance on MNEs’ choice of entry mode in host countries. We extend this research by (1) focussing on the context of emerging markets and (2) accounting for a greater variety of MNEs as well as institutions by including both large and small firms, and a larger set of home and host countries. In contrast to Hernandez and Nieto’s study, we find that, in the context of emerging markets, institutionally distant MNEs are more likely to choose the full-ownership mode when they originate from an institutionally stronger country in comparison to the host (emerging) country, and they are more likely to choose the joint-ownership mode when they originate from an institutionally weaker country. We discuss our findings with respect to Hernandez and Nieto’s study, which explores this relationship more generally (i.e. beyond emerging-market contexts), however in the context of small and medium enterprises.

Details

Distance in International Business: Concept, Cost and Value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-718-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2010

Jin-Hyun Bae and Robert Salomon

Understanding institutional distance – i.e., the difference in institutional context between countries – is critical for firms whose operations span national boundaries…

Abstract

Understanding institutional distance – i.e., the difference in institutional context between countries – is critical for firms whose operations span national boundaries. Institutional distance impacts the relative attractiveness of country markets, trade-offs among foreign market entry strategies, the management of subsidiaries abroad, and ultimately, firm performance. Although scholars in various disciplines have made great advances in defining and measuring the institutional characteristics of nations, we contend that many of these advances have occurred in a parallel fashion. Moreover, extant empirical studies focus disproportionately on the impact of different subsets of the identified institutional characteristics. We suggest that it is time to find common ground across the disparate literatures. Doing so would allow us to view differences in institutional contexts more holistically, and refine our understanding of their implications for multinational corporations.

Details

The Past, Present and Future of International Business & Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-085-9

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2022

Kiyohiro Oki and Norifumi Kawai

Based on a legitimacy perspective, this study aims to investigate when local sourcing, as a strategic legitimacy action, improves or impairs subsidiary performance. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on a legitimacy perspective, this study aims to investigate when local sourcing, as a strategic legitimacy action, improves or impairs subsidiary performance. The authors investigate the moderating role of regulatory/normative institutional distance in the relationship between local sourcing and subsidiary performance. Particularly, departing from prior relevant research, the authors reflect on the direction of institutional distance, categorizing it as either upward or downward institutional distance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Japanese governmental data, this study performs a panel data analysis using a sample of 1,054 Japanese subsidiaries operating in 37 host countries over a 5-year observation period.

Findings

The authors reveal that downward regulatory/normative institutional distance more positively moderates the relationship between local sourcing and subsidiary performance than upward regulatory/normative distance.

Originality/value

There is little research that specifically discusses the performance effects of local sourcing while considering legitimacy concerns. Moreover, the results of analyses of the relationship between local sourcing and subsidiary performance in existing studies are inconsistent, suggesting that it is necessary to identify the boundary conditions under which local sourcing improves or impairs subsidiary performance. To fill these gaps, this study clarifies when local sourcing improves or impairs subsidiary performance based on a legitimacy perspective. The authors’ finding makes a clear contribution to the literature on strategic legitimacy actions and input localization in multinational corporations.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2022

Yang Yang, Jia Xu, Jonathan P. Allen and Xiaohua Yang

This study examines the impact of formal and informal institutional distances on the foreign ownership strategies of emerging market firms (EMFs).

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the impact of formal and informal institutional distances on the foreign ownership strategies of emerging market firms (EMFs).

Design/methodology/approach

This is an empirical study relying on two sets of data collected over two time periods, 2006–2008 and 2017–2019, for publicly-listed Chinese companies.

Findings

Greater formal institutional distances in the host and home countries make EMFs less likely to use joint ventures (JVs), while greater informal distances make EMFs more likely to use the JVs. When both formal and informal institutional distances are high, the use of JVs is more likely. These results are affected by the goal of the foreign direct investment (FDI) project, with strategic asset-seeking (SAS) FDI projects favoring the use of wholly owned subsidiaries (WOSs).

Research limitations/implications

This study relies on cross-sectional data from publicly-listed Chinese companies, which may limit the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

EMFs investing in advanced countries should carefully assess the tradeoffs between transactional cost efficiency and legitimacy in making their foreign ownership decisions. If the goal is to access strategic assets, EMFs should consider WOSs to ensure the transfer of strategic assets and create value for the parent company.

Originality/value

The findings show that formal and informal distances between institutions have different impacts on foreign ownership strategies, providing empirical evidence for the need to balance conflicting cost-efficiency and legitimacy considerations when businesses make such strategic decisions. The authors show how this balance depends on the goal of the FDI project.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2019

João Neves de Carvalho Santos, Manuel Portugal Ferreira and José Carlos Rodrigues

Research suggests that context matters for MNEs’ international business strategy. MNEs’ strategies vary when different intertwined contexts interact with each other. While…

Abstract

Research suggests that context matters for MNEs’ international business strategy. MNEs’ strategies vary when different intertwined contexts interact with each other. While International Business scholars understand well the influence of the institutional environments on firms’ international strategies and operations, some contextual differences are less understood as is the case involving African countries and firms. In this study we investigate how different institutional contexts and legitimacy challenges combine to impact ownership strategic choices of African firms in their cross-border acquisitions (CBAs). Specifically, we study the influence of the host country institutional development and two institutional dimension distances: administrative distance and knowledge distance. Methodologically, we use a sample of 314 CBAs made by acquirers from 24 African countries in 71 host countries worldwide to test a number of theoretically driven hypotheses. This study contributes to our understanding of how foreign investors from less institutionally developed countries that are more likely to face higher legitimacy barriers use ownership strategies to achieve legitimacy abroad.

Details

International Business in a VUCA World: The Changing Role of States and Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-256-0

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Internationalization of Firms: The Role of Institutional Distance on Location and Entry mode
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-134-6

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2022

Jie Gao, Tao Wang, Yu Jia and Cheng Lu Wang

Drawing on institutional theory, this study seeks to advance the understanding of how the indirect effect of exporters' adoption of an international adaptation strategy on…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on institutional theory, this study seeks to advance the understanding of how the indirect effect of exporters' adoption of an international adaptation strategy on export performance via enhanced legitimacy is differently moderated by formal and informal institutional distances from the host country market.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from a sample of 251 exporters in China and analyzed with a multiple regression model to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Exporters' use of an international adaptation strategy affects their perceived legitimacy, which in turn influences their export performance. Moreover, formal institutional distance strengthens the indirect effect of an international adaptation strategy on export performance via legitimacy, whereas informal institutional distance weakens this indirect effect.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the knowledge of how and when adoption of an international adaptation strategy by exporters benefits export performance from an institutional perspective.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2017

Michael J. Mueller, Guus Hendriks and Arjen H.L. Slangen

In this chapter, we aim to shed more light on the role of formal institutional distance in firms’ foreign entry mode choices by accounting for the direction of that…

Abstract

In this chapter, we aim to shed more light on the role of formal institutional distance in firms’ foreign entry mode choices by accounting for the direction of that distance. Specifically, we distinguish between foreign entries where the host country is institutionally less developed than the investing firm’s home country (negative institutional distance) and those where the host country’s institutions are comparatively more developed (positive institutional distance), and explore whether these different types of entries are implemented through different equity-based modes. We take an information economics perspective to develop hypotheses on the effects of positive and negative formal institutional distance on firms’ choices between greenfields and acquisitions, and between full and partial ownership of greenfield and acquired subsidiaries. We test our hypotheses on a sample of 1,070 foreign entries made by 796 emerging market multinationals originating from 14 countries. Controlling for the host country’s formal institutional quality and other factors, we find that negative institutional distance increases the likelihood that a foreign entry takes the form of a greenfield investment rather than an acquisition and that positive institutional distance decreases that likelihood. We also find that negative institutional distance increases the chances that firms choose greenfield joint ventures over wholly owned greenfields and full over partial acquisitions. Finally, we find that positive institutional distance does not affect firms’ ownership stake choices, neither for greenfields nor for acquisitions. Overall, these findings argue for a nuanced, contingency view of the role of formal institutional distance in foreign entry mode choices. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to use information economics to construct a holistic picture of firms’ equity-based entry mode choices, taking into account both establishment and ownership modes.

Details

Distance in International Business: Concept, Cost and Value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-718-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2021

Hongxia Zhang and Huixin Yang

To reconcile the existing contradictory conclusions on the relationship between cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and innovation, this paper aims to propose a…

Abstract

Purpose

To reconcile the existing contradictory conclusions on the relationship between cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and innovation, this paper aims to propose a theoretical model of the impact of cross-border M&As on technological innovation and explore the moderating role of institutional distance from the perspective of springboard theory and new institutional theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the use of the two-way fixed effect model and the U-test method, the authors test the hypotheses based on a sample of cross-border M&A events of Chinese manufacturing enterprises during the period from 2006 to 2019.

Findings

The research shows that there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between cross-border M&As and technological innovation. Furthermore, formal institutional distance moderates the inverted U-shaped relationship in such a way that it reaches its turning point at a smaller scale of cross-border M&As, and the inverted U-shaped relationship is steeper when formal institutional distance is relatively high. The informal institutional distance moderates the inverted U-shaped relationship in such a way that it reaches its turning point at a larger scale of cross-border M&As and the inverted U-shaped relationship is flatter when the informal institutional distance is relatively high.

Originality/value

The research conclusions integrate heterogeneous views of the existing research, further clarify the influence mechanism and boundary conditions between cross-border M&As and technological innovation, identify the different moderating roles of formal institutional distance and informal institutional distance and enrich the literature on knowledge transfer and recombinant innovation during post-merger integration.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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