Institutional Bridging for SME High-Distance Internationalisation to China: A Contextualised Explanation
ABSTRACT This article offers a contextualised explanation of the process of institutional bridging by Delta, a British SME, in order to internationalise to China across high institutional distance. The study uncovers three novel mechanisms of 'Cross-institutional Dissonance Mitigation', 'Multi-level Strategic Embedding', and 'Cross-institutional Consonance Retuning' to explain how and why a failing SME with limited resources and networks was able to bridge the institutional distance and internationalise to the challenging Chinese market. This article contributes to the literature on SME internationalisation across high institutional distance by opening the 'black box' of SME institutional bridging, hence demonstrating the benefits of contextualised explanations to extend research into internationalisation phenomena that span multiple institutional boundaries.
KEYWORDS contextualised explanation, institutional bridging, institutional distance, SME internationalisation, UK/China.
Adopting Bricolage to Overcome Resource Constraints: The Case of Social Enterprises in Rural India
Pradeep Kumar Hota, Sumit Mitra, and Israr Qureshi
ABSTRACT Social enterprises (SEs) primarily aim to create social value, that is, to generate benefits or reduce costs for society, while maintaining financial sustainability. Owing to their unique operating conditions and organizational characteristics, SEs face more severe resource challenges than their commercial counterparts. These challenges are exacerbated for SEs operating in emerging economies with complex social contexts. Overcoming these resource constraints and social challenges is vital for SEs to achieve their mission. Using an inductive multiple case-study approach, we identify a unique bricolage solution for achieving the dual objectives of SEs. Our findings suggest that identifying locally embedded village level entrepreneurs is a bricolage activity that social entrepreneurs leverage in resource constrained environment of emerging economies, especially for the social enterprises that are active in the villages but were founded by social entrepreneurs who are not from these villages. This paper therefore contributes to both social entrepreneurship literature as well as entrepreneurial bricolage literature and has important implications for future research and practice.
KEYWORDS bricolage, emerging economies, qualitative research, resource mobilization, social enterprise
The Color of Faults Depends on the Lens: MNCs' Legitimacy Repair in Response to Framing by Local Governments in China
Xiao-xiao Liu, Lai Si Tsui-Auch, Jun Jie Yang, Xueli Wang, Aihua Chen, and Kai Wang
ABSTRACT Concerns over food safety in China not only direct public attention to negative incidents, but also trigger the government's scrutiny of implicated firms, particularly MNCs. The question of how to repair legitimacy after media coverage of negative incidents has become a critical issue for MNCs. Although the factors for MNCs' public crises have been identified, how local contexts and mechanisms shape repair approaches remain to be unclear. To address this research gap, we conducted a study of Walmart China's approaches associated with two negative incidents across two regions. We found that the negative incidents can be framed differently depending on the local environment's unfavorability for MNCs. Specifically, the negative framing gave rise to varying degrees of legitimacy loss and offered different leeway for MNCs to repair their legitimacy. We also identified the varied outcomes of different repair approaches. By revealing the linkages among local context, framing, legitimacy repair, and its outcomes, our study contributes to research on MNCs' legitimacy management under institutional complexity and underscores the China context for legitimacy maintenance. We also offer insights that advances the institutional approach to legitimacy repair in this context. Last, we reflect on the tactics for conducting qualitative research in China.
KEYWORDS defiance, framing, institutional approach, legitimacy management, negative incidents
Adaptation of Compensation Practice in China: The Role of Sub-National Institutions
Wei Lu, Ayse Saka-Helmhout, and Rebecca Piekkari
ABSTRACT Unlike previous research that has largely focused on the influence of national institutions on human resource management practices in China, our study taps into the role of sub-national institutions. We demonstrate, via a qualitative configurational analysis, that foreign subsidiaries of multinational corporations still adapt HQ compensation practice to the local context despite low regulatory pressure and low mobility of skills at sub-national level. This adaptation is facilitated by a decentralized structure in the multinational corporation. Our study also shows that high regulatory pressure and high portability of skills at the sub-national level alone are sufficient to induce local adaptation of compensation practice. Our explanation points to the significant role played by sub-national institutions in large and rapidly changing emerging economies and contributes to research on local adaptation of HRM practice in China. It offers an insight into forms of institutional agency by political and economic actors at local levels of governance as they attempt to influence the skills and human resources available for MNCs through regulatory means.
KEYWORDS adaptation of compensation practice, China, MNC decentralization, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), sub-national institutions
A Discursive Void in a Cross-Language Study on Russia: Strategies for Negotiating Shared Meaning
Virpi Outila, Rebecca Piekkari, and Irina Mihailova
ABSTRACT Discursive voids in emerging markets present opportunities and challenges to debate meanings and taken-for granted assumptions. This article uncovers various strategies used by the researcher and the research participants to address the discursive void and to negotiate shared meaning about employee empowerment in Russia. In the absence of a concept for empowerment in the languages of the study, the researcher and the research participants engaged in joint sensemaking to bridge discursive voids. We contribute to the discussion of qualitative cross-language research in emerging markets by identifying the strategies used not only by the researcher, whose view has dominated previous research, but also those of the research participants. The researcher in our study addressed the discursive void by taking on the dual role of researcher-translator, engaging in contextual approach to translation, consulting external interpreters, and using iteration and flexibility in the course of the research process. Our research participants resorted to proverbs to address the discursive void, make sense of empowerment and render it locally meaningful. Proverbs are a valuable methodological tool for sensemaking and theorising about context-specific phenomena in IB research.
KEYWORDS discursive void, emerging markets, proverbs, qualitative cross-language research, translation
Decoding the Process of Social Value Creation by Chinese and Indian Social Entrepreneurs: Contributory Factors and Contextual Embeddedness
Deepak Sardana, Vassiliki Bamiatzi, and Ying Zhu
ABSTRACT Nowadays social entrepreneurship is recognized as a two-way process, addressing both social and economic concerns that can bring social inclusion, equity and development to disadvantaged groups in society. This aspect is particularly important and desirable within emerging economies. In these markets, which are constantly faced with profound economic and social challenges, we see the growing importance of social entrepreneurs as they take upon themselves the provision of welfare services and progressive activities. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the creation of social and economic values in social enterprises, and the factors contributing to the establishment of these value creation objectives, is still rather fragmented. Our article contributes to this gap in the literature, by decoding the process via which for-profit social entrepreneurs from China and India, create social and economic value. In addition, by combining a deductive and an inductive approach of analysis, we offer novel insights into the context-dependent processual patterns deciphered within the two countries. A new entrepreneurial process framework that reflects the contextualized social value creation process by social entrepreneurs is thus provided.
KEYWORDS emerging markets, entrepreneurial process, social enterprises, social value
Reflecting and Integrating the Contextual Influences of Ambiguities and Institutional Power in Organisational Research Design: A Case of Myanmar
Sandar Win and Alexander K. Kofinas
ABSTRACT Our understanding of how an organisation operates is elucidated by the host country’s political system. Myanmar has remained abstruse to researchers for many decades, as do most emerging markets prior to their transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy such as China. We establish how the problematising and contextualisation of the methodologies adopted during a longitudinal fieldwork in Myanmar (2008 to 2016) has influenced our research focus and question. By reflecting on our experience of conducting organisational research in a highly institutionalised environment, we have identified limitations in the prevalent research methodologies used by the extant literature. Such methodologies tend to be incompatible with the Asian context. This process of problematisation required us to remain flexible and adaptive during the process of the generation of the research questions. We adopted a context-informed theory-building process and reflect on the interplay between interviewer, interviewees and local institutional contexts. An important insight from this process was the need to nullify the asymmetry of power between the interviewer and interviewees to obtain honest responses rather than superficial data that aimed to satisfy and please the interviewer/institutional context.
KEYWORDS emerging markets, institutional theory, interview methods, research methodology, qualitative research