We expand the institutional perspective of international business by exploring the range of institutions outside the host country that influence international business. We use a critical case, Myanmar, to explore the dynamics of institutional constraints and the reaction of business to such constraints. Our in depth case analysis focuses on four industries for the period 1996–2011. On this basis, we develop the concept of ‘low profile strategy’ and propose a conceptual framework of home country pressures influencing multinational enterprises’ international operation, and the variation of their impact across industries and firms. This framework provides a foundation for future work on the extra-territorial effects of institutions in international business.