Sub-Theme 14: Contextualizing Management and Organization theories: Learning from emerging countries
University of Rhode Island
IAE, Universidad Austral
Call for papers
Because the historical roots that define contemporary management theory are in the U.S. and Western Europe, the growing body of research in and from emerging economies often adapts conceptual frameworks that may fit poorly in their original form. There is high value in such theoretical adaptation as it can lead to the strengthening of existing theories by introducing new contingencies, mechanisms and processes.
Good progress has been made! Scholars are increasingly conscious of the need to “contextualize” theories (Welter, 2011; Zahra, 2007). There are also now a handful of concepts that have been shown to be germane to the reality of emerging economies, such as bricolage (Baker & Nelson, 2005), bottom of the pyramid (Prahalad, 2010; Webb, Kistruck, Ireland, & Ketchen Jr, 2010), hybrid organizing (Battilana & Dorado, 2010) and the structuring of markets (McKague, Zietsma, & Oliver, 2015). Much work remains to achieve coherence. This is the task we set for ourselves in this subtheme.
We call for papers tackling the piecemeal, ad hoc and, at times, derogatory fashion with which much of our published work approaches emerging economies. For example, the concept of “institutional voids” is often used as short hand to describe the absence of those norms, rules, and practices taken for granted in US-Western based research. This understanding disregards both Khanna and Palepu’s (1997) original understanding focused on the lack of the institutional market infrastructure that multinationals required to operate as well as Mair, Marti, and Ventresca’s (2012) reinterpretation of this concept to describe the presence of coercive normative forces and cognitive frameworks (e.g. post-colonialism, patriarchy) that exclude certain populations from these institutional infrastructures, even when they exist.
We believe it is time to move beyond this piecemeal and ad hoc application of concepts as well as this one-fits-all embracing of concepts and frameworks with little “contextualizing” (Bruton, Ahlstrom, & Obloj, 2008). We wish to encourage work that moves toward the articulation of new with established concepts and provides more balanced approaches to emerging economies and unconventional settings (Bamberger & Pratt, 2010).
The following topics are intended only to illustrate the sorts of questions we believe may be important, rather than to be restrictive:
Papers exploring and further articulating any of the concepts mentioned above. Of particular interest are papers exploring the linkages among these concepts. For example is bricolage the only form of entrepreneurship practical in and around institutional voids?
Papers connecting new concepts with established ones. For example, what can we learn about Bottom of the pyramid when we explore its connections with established concepts, such as, to name but a few, informal sector, inclusion, dignity, emancipation? What can we learn about institutional voids when we explore how it connects with concepts such as institutional complexity (Greenwood, Raynard, Kodeih, Micelotta, & Lounsbury, 2011), inhabited institutions (Dorado, 2013), or Grand Challenges (Ferraro, Etzion, & Gehman, 2015)?
Baker, T., & Nelson, R. E. (2005). Creating something from nothing: Resource construction through entrepreneurial bricolage. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50, 329–366.
Battilana, J., & Dorado, S. (2010). Building sustainable hybrid organizations: The case of commercial microfinance organizations. The Academy of Management Journal, 53, 1419–1440.
Bruton, G. D., Ahlstrom, D., & Obloj, K. (2008). Entrepreneurship in emerging economies: Where are we today and where should the research go in the future. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32, 1–14.
Dorado, S. (2013). Small Groups as Context for Institutional Entrepreneurship: An Exploration of the Emergence of Commercial Microfinance in Bolivia. Organization Studies, 34, 533–557.
Ferraro, F., Etzion, D., & Gehman, J. (2015). Tackling grand challenges pragmatically: Robust action revisited. Organization Studies, 36, 363–390.
Greenwood, R., Raynard, M., Kodeih, F., Micelotta, E. R., & Lounsbury, M. (2011). Institutional complexity and organizational responses. The Academy of Management Annals, 5, 317–371.
Khanna, T., & Palepu, K. G. (1997). Why focused strategies may be wrong for emerging markets. Harvard Business Review, July/August.
Mair, J., Marti, I., & Ventresca, M. J. (2012). Building inclusive markets in rural Bangladesh: how intermediaries work institutional voids. Academy of Management Journal, 55, 819–850.
McKague, K., Zietsma, C., & Oliver, C. (2015). Building the Social Structure of a Market. Organization Studies, 170840615580011.
Prahalad, C. K. (2010). The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: Eradicating poverty through profits. Wharton.
Webb, J. W., Kistruck, G. M., Ireland, R. D., & Ketchen Jr, D. J. (2010). The entrepreneurship process in base of the pyramid markets: The case of multinational enterprise/nongovernment organization alliances. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34, 555–581.
Welter, Friederike. 2011. Contextualizing Entrepreneurship – Conceptual Challenges and Ways Forward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1): 165-184.
Zahra, Shaker A. 2007. Contextualizing Theory Building in Entrepreneurship Research. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(3): 443-452.