Organizational Flexibility in Emerging Economies
Chapter 3: Argentinian Business Environment
INTRODUCTION Studies of organization have often omitted the importance of national diﬀerences as shapers of the organizational action of ﬁrms (Whittington and Mayer, 2000; Pettigrew et al., 2001). Clark (2000: 8) argues that this may have happened due to the fact that many organizational theorists are located in the USA and therefore tend to consider the context of their ﬁndings (that is the American context) as ‘an undiscussed background’ and consequently universalize them. National and regional speciﬁcities are, however, becoming increasingly acknowledged as factors aﬀecting the ways in which ﬁrms in emerging economies respond to competitive pressures (Pettigrew et al., 2001; Hoskisson et al., 2000). As this chapter demonstrates, particular features of the Argentinian business environment has a deep impact on the character and transformation of indigenous ﬁrms over time. Argentina, the country on which this analysis focuses, has been considered a newly industrialized country (Helleiner, 1990), a developing country (Lal, 1975), an emergent country (Contractor, 1998) or a less developed country (Kirkpatrick, 1987; Buckley and Casson, 1985). We consider Argentina to be an emergent country. Hoskisson et al. (2000) indicate that an emerging market economy can be deﬁned as one that satisﬁes two main criteria: a rapid pace of economic development and government policies favouring economic liberalisation. The term ‘emerging country’, for Zahra et al. (2000) and Ramamurti (2000), also presupposes economic, social, institutional and political instability compared to economically developed countries. But what are the particular national features that distinguish the Argentinian national...