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Klaus E. Meyer and Mike W. Peng

Since the 1990s, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has provided unique societal quasi-experiments, which represent opportunities to test the applicability of existing theories in international business and management studies and to develop new ones. Specifically, three lines of theorising have been advanced: (1) organizational economics theories; (2) resource-based theories; and (3) institutional theories. For each of these theories, we discuss how they contribute to the understanding of key issues, such as entry strategies of foreign investors, restructuring strategies of local incumbents, and entry and growth strategies of entrepreneurs. On this basis, we assess how CEE research has influenced the overall trajectories of theory development. CEE research has in particular highlighted the importance of contextual influences such as institutions. Thus, scholars have aimed at incorporating institutions into theories (such as organisational economics theories and resource based theories) and advancing an institution-based view of business strategy as a complementary perspective. We outline how future research in CEE and other emerging economies may advance this research agenda further.

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Klaus E. Meyer and Mike W. Peng

In “Probing Theoretically into Central and Eastern Europe: Transactions, Resources, and Institutions,” we outlined the contributions of research in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to theoretical debates in business research. In this retrospective, we reflect upon the evolution of the field over the past decade.With the fading impact of CEE’s distinct shared history, we suggest that CEE best be analyzed as emerging economies, rather than as a distinct geographic entity. Emerging economy business research is converging on common themes and shared theoretical ideas, while identifying critical variations that constrain generalizations among and beyond emerging economies. This research thus highlights the need to develop a better understanding of the boundary conditions of scholarly theories of business knowledge. Over the past decade, the institution-based view has emerged from distinct intellectual traditions in institutional economics, organizational theory, and the analysis of business–government bargaining. Research in these converging lines of theorizing places contextual variations at the center of explanations of business phenomena around the world. We suggest that the institution-based view is evolving toward a paradigm, and offer suggestions on how to advance this research agenda further, in particular by exploring how firms engage with different sets of potentially conflicting institutions at multiple levels and locations.

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Klaus E. Meyer, Saul Estrin, Sumon Kumar Bhaumik and Mike W. Peng

We investigate the impact of market-supporting institutions on business strategies by analyzing the entry strategies of foreign investors entering emerging economies. We apply and advance the institution-based view of strategy by integrating it with resource-based considerations. In particular, we show how resource-seeking strategies are pursued using different entry modes in different institutional contexts. Alternative modes of entry - greenfield, acquisition, and joint venture (JV) - allow firms to overcome different kinds of market inefficiencies related to both characteristics of the resources and to the institutional context. In a weaker institutional framework, JVs are used to access many resources, but in a stronger institutional framework, JVs become less important while acquisitions can play a more important role in accessing resources that are intangible and organizationally embedded. Combining survey and archival data from four emerging economies, India, Vietnam, South Africa, and Egypt, we provide empirical support for our hypotheses. Copyright @ 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.