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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Ron Berger, Ram Herstein, Daniel McCarthy and Sheila Puffer

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of Wasta, a culturally based system of social networks of exchange among in-group members in the Arab world, as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of Wasta, a culturally based system of social networks of exchange among in-group members in the Arab world, as exemplified by three groups of Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, and then compares it to Guanxi (China), Sviazi (Russia) and JaanPechaan (India). The use of social networks is a common business model around the world to accomplish business objectives and is especially relied upon in emerging economies where formal institutions are weak. It is important to understand the commonalities and differences in the use of reciprocity in various cultural contexts in order to conduct business effectively. The aim of the paper is to illustrate the structure of Wasta and how it is perceived and constructed among three Arab social groups, and then compare and contrast it with social business models in three other high context cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative approach based on interviews to better understand the relationships involved.

Findings

The findings provide the foundation for a number of critical insights for non-Arab managers seeking to do business in the Arab world. For international managers to conduct business successfully, it is essential to understand how Wasta works, and establish relationships with members of influential social networks by building trust over time such that they create Wasta for themselves and indirectly for their firms. Using Wasta in the Arab world, as noted above, is similar to doing business successfully in other emerging economies such as using Sviazi in Russia (McCarthy and Puffer, 2008; Berger et al., 2017), Guanxi in China (Yen et al., 2011) and Jaan–Pechaan in India (Bhattacharjee and Zhang, 2011). The authors feel more confident in stating this view after comparing Wasta with these other three concepts, and noting that all four are built upon the same fundamental constructs.

Research limitations/implications

The authors recognize that the study is limited in terms of the geographical sample since it does not include any non-Palestinians, although the managers the authors sampled came from various regions in the Palestinian authority. Additionally, Palestinian managers are highly educated and mobile, and can be found in many other Arab countries working in managerial positions (Zineldin, 2002), thus potentially broadening the generalizability of the findings. Nonetheless, the samples would be called ones of convenience rather than randomly drawn from the three groups, since the latter would be extremely difficult to execute not only in the Palestinian Authority but in most of the Arab world due to the culturally based reluctance to provide sensitive information to those outside one’s network. Despite the difficulties that might be involved in exploring such culturally sensitive issues as the authors did in this study, the benefits in knowledge gained can be of significant importance to the study of international business in emerging and transition economies.

Originality/value

Little research has focused on the use of Wasta in the Arab world, a gap which this paper addresses. The authors do so by analyzing the views of Wasta held by three important groups – leaders, business people and students. While each type of reciprocity has its own unique characteristics, the authors focus on three interrelated constructs that have been found to underlie the use of reciprocity in various cultures. In the Arab world, these are Hamola, which incorporates reciprocity; Somah, that incorporates trust; and Mojamala, which incorporates empathy through social business networks.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Ron Berger, Bradley R. Barnes and Avi Silbiger

Managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from developed economies are often cautious to understand the cultural environment where they do business. This is…

Abstract

Purpose

Managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from developed economies are often cautious to understand the cultural environment where they do business. This is predominantly true in developing economies, and even more so in certain Arab countries where MNEs have limited knowledge and experience. The purpose of this study is to report on the development of a research instrument that is applicable to Arab business culture, following the 2011 Arab Spring. The investigation draws on data from three different groups of people, i.e. leaders (business professors and leading politicians), business people and postgraduate business students, all of Palestinian nationality. The article examines the Arabic culturally based business structure called Wasta, a system that relies on social networks and the reciprocal exchange of favors. A research instrument is developed to measure three dimensions of Wasta across these three different groups of people and examines their influence on relationship satisfaction and organizational performance. The findings reveal that the groups are affected differently by these dimensions and see different utility in Wasta. Such insights may be useful for MNE practitioners when entering Arab countries, when seeking to employ younger Arabs and when partnering with Arab businesses or dealing with government officials.

Design/methodology/approach

Research paper

Findings

This study has focused on the impact of Wasta on relationship satisfaction and on relationship performance for three different groups of individuals: business people, students and leaders. It was hypothesized that higher levels of each component of Wasta would contribute positively to relationship satisfaction, and that the latter would in turn lead to higher relationship performance. Findings generally supported these hypotheses with some variations among groups. Furthermore, it was predicted that the model would be relevant to all three groups, but would be structured differently reflecting their different views of business. The findings of this study help answer our research question about the socio-economic, cultural and political factors that influence the business process involving Arab and non-Arab business managers.

Originality/value

Original paper

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

Ernest Raiklin

Attempts to discover an internal logic in the high‐speed eventstaking place in the former Soviet Union. In addressing the problems ofthe country′s disintegration, examines…

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Abstract

Attempts to discover an internal logic in the high‐speed events taking place in the former Soviet Union. In addressing the problems of the country′s disintegration, examines the issue in its socioeconomic, political and territorial‐administrative aspects. Analyses, for this purpose, the nature of Soviet society prior to Gorbachev′s reforms, its present transitional stage and its probable direction in the near future.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 20 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2016

Günter K. Stahl, Christof Miska, Sheila M. Puffer and Daniel J. McCarthy

Highly publicized scandals and increased stakeholder activism for sustainable development have resulted in calls for more responsible global leadership. At the same time…

Abstract

Highly publicized scandals and increased stakeholder activism for sustainable development have resulted in calls for more responsible global leadership. At the same time, emerging economies characterized by weak institutions, political instability, and a shaky rule of law have gained in importance for global business. Under the lens of responsible global leadership, we highlight the challenges that global leaders face in addressing the needs of diverse, cross-boundary stakeholders, with a particular focus on Western multinational enterprises (MNEs) doing business in emerging markets. We identify three prototypical approaches that MNEs and their leaders take in responding to calls for responsible global leadership, focusing on the tensions and possible trade-offs between globally integrated and locally adapted approaches. We discuss the implications in view of managerial decision making and behavior and offer recommendations for how organizations may promote responsible global leadership.

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2020

Ziaul Haque Munim, Rotem Shneor, Olugbenga Michael Adewumi and Mohammad Hassan Shakil

SME funding gaps in developing economies are substantial. Crowdfunding is an innovative way to raise funds that may be part of the solution for closing such gaps. The…

Abstract

Purpose

SME funding gaps in developing economies are substantial. Crowdfunding is an innovative way to raise funds that may be part of the solution for closing such gaps. The purpose of this study is to investigate the determinants of crowdfunding contribution intentions in the context of a developing country –Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collect data by using a structured questionnaire distributed through Facebook. The analysis is based on data collected from 252 valid responses and uses the ordered probit regression for estimation. For robustness, the authors also estimate the hypothesized model using ordered logistic regression and OLS regression finding identical results.

Findings

The authors find that liking the campaign idea and positive media coverage of a crowdfunding campaign have a positive association with crowdfunding contribution intention. Surprisingly, personal relations, others' recommendation and the location of the campaign's owner were not significantly associated with crowdfunding contribution intention in our study. Moreover, respondents' location in Bangladesh (vs. abroad) and their age are positively associated with contribution intention, while education is negatively associated with intention.

Originality/value

Earlier studies focused on the determinants of ex post crowdfunding intentions in developed and more mature crowdfunding markets. The authors contribute by examining ex ante crowdfunding contribution intentions in the developing economy of Bangladesh, which is at the market's inception stage.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Daniel J. McCarthy, Sheila M. Puffer and Snejina Michailova

The purpose of this article is to analyze the initial public offerings (IPOs) of Russian companies in the context of the country's investment attractiveness and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to analyze the initial public offerings (IPOs) of Russian companies in the context of the country's investment attractiveness and the readiness of its companies to list on stock exchanges, domestically and/or internationally. The analysis takes a balanced approach. It recognizes the positive aspects from the development of Russia's stock markets and the launched and planned IPOs of Russian companies, but underscores reasons for caution in assessing this developing situation, emphasizing the need to maintain a critical perspective. The article is intended to help determine, in the sphere of IPOs at least, whether Russia is currently, or is on the road to becoming, as solid as a BRIC.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon publicly available material from English‐ and Russian‐language sources, the authors discuss the development of the two Russian stock exchanges and analyze the progress that Russian companies have made in successfully completing IPOs on Russian and foreign stock exchanges. The paper also analyzes the barriers faced by Russian companies in launching IPOs and/or attracting investment, including global factors, country‐level conditions, and individual firm characteristics.

Findings

The results of the analysis indicate that the Russian stock exchanges have developed reasonably well over the two decades since perestroika. Correspondingly, a substantial number of Russian companies have mounted successful IPOs not only on the Russian stock exchanges but also on international exchanges, particularly the London Stock Exchange. Yet the number of successful IPOs relative to the number of planned IPOs has been much smaller than the global average. The latter finding is attributed to Russia's particular investment problems, which extend beyond global economic forces, specifically the country‐level and firm‐specific factors, both of which heighten the risk for investors.

Originality/value

The authors' review of the literature has uncovered no journal articles covering the circumstances surrounding the IPOs of Russian firms. Additionally, the available sources seldom provide a balanced view, much less a critical view of the IPO landscape in the context of Russia's overall circumstances, particularly risk. Thus, this article, with its critical but balanced perspective, allows for a relatively objective analysis for theorists as well as investors as they approach the topic of Russian company IPOs, domestically or internationally.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 9 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Sheila M. Puffer, Daniel J McCarthy and Alfred M Jaeger

The purpose of this paper is to present a comparative analysis of institutions and institutional voids in Russia, Brazil, and Poland over the decades of the 1980s through…

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3672

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a comparative analysis of institutions and institutional voids in Russia, Brazil, and Poland over the decades of the 1980s through to 2015. The paper asserts that Russia and Brazil could learn much from Poland regarding formal institution building and formal institutional voids that cause problems like corruption and limit economic growth.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative case study approach is utilized to assess the relative success of the three emerging market countries in transitioning to a market economy, viewed through the lens of institutional theory.

Findings

Poland’s experience in building successful formal institutions and mitigating major institutional voids can be instructive for Russia and Brazil which have shown far less success, and correspondingly less sustained economic growth.

Research limitations/implications

This paper demonstrates the value of applying institutional theory to analyze the progress of emerging economies in transitioning to a market economy.

Practical implications

This country comparison can prove valuable to other emerging economies seeking a successful transition to a market economy.

Social implications

Since institutions are the fabric of any society, the emphasis on institutions in this paper can have positive implications for society in emerging markets.

Originality/value

This paper is an original comparison of two BRIC countries with a smaller emerging economy, utilizing institutional theory. Factors contributing to Poland’s success are compared to Russia and Brazil to assess how those countries might be positively informed by Poland’s experience in building and strengthening sustainable formal institutions as well as avoiding institutional voids and their associated problems.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1958

J. BIRD

Information and special library work is at present a profession that is in the process of formation and struggling for recognition, and entry into it is entirely…

Abstract

Information and special library work is at present a profession that is in the process of formation and struggling for recognition, and entry into it is entirely uncontrolled. People with the most varied backgrounds and levels of education find themselves made responsible for setting up or running library and information services, without any previous knowledge of the work. Often they are in remote places and without any contact with more experienced colleagues who could give them advice, and their only means of getting the knowledge necessary for the efficient carrying out of their duties is from reading. But, owing to the unsettled state of the profession, the literature is voluminous and scattered, and much of it is of a low standard, or occupied with pure theorizing or polemics. Moreover, the literature that the novice is most likely to see, namely the articles on documentation which are occasionally printed in technical journals, is not always the most helpful for a person who has no background of experience against which he can evaluate it. In these circumstances the new entrant needs a guide to the literature if he is not to be discouraged or adopt practices and systems which are not really suitable to his circumstances. It is to meet this need that this annual review of the literature, now in its sixth year, has been written. It attempts to select those books and papers which are most likely to be of direct help in running a small information department or library, eschewing all pure theorizing and polemics, and only including literature on large libraries where it is felt that it contains ideas capable of application in smaller organizations. To these are added a selection of the most important works of reference, including some that the information officer may wish to know about and consult in other libraries, even though his own library does not possess them. The list is not restricted to work published in 1957, but is intended to be representative of items received in British libraries during the period under review. Owing to restrictions in space, the selection has to be rigorous, and is inevitably, to a certain extent, a personal one. No two people would probably agree on all the omissions, but it is hoped that all the items included will be of positive value to the type of reader for whom the review is intended.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

David Lingelbach

How does venture capital (VC) emerge in emerging and developing economies? This paper aims to use case data from an early Russian VC fund to extend a previous model…

Abstract

Purpose

How does venture capital (VC) emerge in emerging and developing economies? This paper aims to use case data from an early Russian VC fund to extend a previous model exploring that question.

Design/methodology/approach

Case studies of VC emergence from South Africa, Botswana, and Russia are compared, from which a conceptual model is developed.

Findings

VC emerges in a process consisting of four stages: enabling, coproducing, diffusing, and replicating. The Russian case shows that these stages are linked in a circular process, i.e. replicating can lead to enabling. VC emergence can also begin at any stage. A higher degree of public‐private coproduction may outweigh the absence of a completed enabling stage, suggesting that strength in one stage can compensate for weakness in others.

Research limitations/implications

This paper invites scholars to reconsider VC emergence in a more nuanced manner that takes into account its complex, processual nature. The inclusion of Russian data also encourages researchers to examine more closely the subtle ways in which the private and public sectors may interact in emerging markets in pursuit of common goals. This study's findings have important linkages with other critical accounts of international business. The study addresses weaknesses in earlier literature by employing a multi‐disciplinary, cross‐context approach that utilizes data from a foreign VC investing in Russian small to medium‐sized enterprises.

Practical implications

VCs considering investment in Russia should examine how early entrants to the industry formed cooperative relationships with local governments. Policymakers should re‐examine the relative importance of national and local efforts to promote VC and other innovation‐related initiatives in emerging markets.

Originality/value

This study moves beyond current economics‐dominated understanding of VC, which focuses on antecedents (enabling conditions). It reports the central role of public‐private coproduction in VC emergence, the feedback between diffusion and coproduction in emergence, and, most importantly, the diminished importance of enabling conditions. This paper presents the first fund‐level study of Russian VC.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 9 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1994

Dmitry Shlapentokh

The historian can provide quite a different explanation, other than the currently held views, for the emergence of the Red Terror in 1918.

Abstract

The historian can provide quite a different explanation, other than the currently held views, for the emergence of the Red Terror in 1918.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 14 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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