MOR Abstracts

MOR 17.5 Abstracts

Jaguar Firms: Tropic Dwellers, Camouflage Masters, and Solitary Predators
Juan Velez-Ocampo, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, and Sin Kit I

ABSTRACT Within the last two decades, the international expansion of Latin American companies has undergone remarkable growth. This phenomenon has attracted scholarly attention, however, most of the available research is focused on companies that have already engaged in foreign direct investment (FDI), meanwhile, Latin American firms in pre-FDI stages remain mostly understudied. This article uses an explanatory case study design to analyze the corporate reputation and decision-making process related to international expansion of a set of ten Latin American companies. Both archival and primary data were used in the individual and cross-case analyses stages for 22 months. Our study identifies and establishes analytical generalizations when examining and contrasting the findings with the previously revised theoretical frameworks. More specifically, we identified that these companies exhibit similarities with the behavior of Jaguars, the Latin American wild feline; especially because of (i) their preference to remain in their regional market to exploit current capabilities and advantages, and eventually enter developed markets to upgrade capabilities and surpass strong competitors at home; (ii) their strategies to disguise their country of origin and lack of experience when operating internationally; and (iii) their solitary behavior and reluctance to engage in partnerships and/or strategic alliances unless they have a specific interest in building legitimacy and enhancing reputation.

KEYWORDS corporate reputation, emerging markets firms (EMFs), international expansion, internationalization, Latin America 

Formal and Informal Institutions: The Independent and Join Impacts on Firm Innovation
Cuifen Wang, Xuanye Li, Hongyan Yang, and Ting Ren

ABSTRACT We study the impact of formal and informal institutions perceived and experienced by firms on their innovation using the 2012 World Bank Enterprise Survey data in China. We propose a framework to identify different innovator types of firms. Our analysis shows that (1) perceived constraints from the governmental system make firms more likely to be innovators than non-innovators; (2) perceived constraints from the legal system make firms more likely to be imitators than innovators; (3) lack of formal finance makes firms more likely to be non-innovators than innovators; (4) prevalence of bribery makes firms more likely to be non-innovators than innovators but less likely to be innovation pretenders than innovators. Our study enriches institutional theory and innovation research by establishing a framework that encompasses multiple dimensions of formal and informal institutions perceived and experienced by firms and the impacts of such perception and experience on firms’ propensity to become certain type of innovator.

KEYWORDS formal and informal institutions, innovative performance, new product deployment, R&D activities, type of innovator

Multinational Enterprises and International Cartels: The Strategic Implications of De-globalisation
Peter J. Buckley and Mark Casson

ABSTRACT A cartel is an association of independent businesses for the purpose of regulating trade in an industry. There are three important reasons for studying international cartels: they will become important in the future; they are of immense historical significance; and they are poorly understood. This paper reviews the economic, political, and historical literatures on international cartels and considers the lessons for international business theory and policy. If IB researchers are to retain their reputation for policy-relevance, they must engage with the issue of institutional responses to globalization, and this must include the analysis of cartels.

KEYWORDS de-globalization, international cartels, monopoly, multinational enterprises, price-fixing, strategy

Managing Complementary Assets to Build Cross-Functional Ambidexterity: The Transformation of Huawei Mobile
Mengling Yan, Yani Hu, and Xiaoying Dong

ABSTRACT During technology transitions, incumbents are frequently faced with the ambidextrous challenge of exploiting existing capabilities and exploring new ones. While extant studies focus on radical changes in the product domain, we notice radical changes can happen in both product and market domains. Pioneering studies indicate that cross-functional ambidexterity addresses this challenge at the business-unit level by juxtaposing exploration and exploitation across different functional domains (particularly in product and market domains) and that complementary assets address this challenge at the organizational level. However, how efforts at two levels can be combined to build cross-functional ambidexterity and what roles complementary assets play remain unclear. Therefore, this study conducts an in-depth case study of Huawei Mobile, which managed to achieve superior performance during a technology transition that triggers radical changes in both product and market domains. We find that multi-level synergies contribute to the transition process. Specifically, cross-functional ambidexterity is constructed by prioritizing exploration in the product domain ahead of that in the market domain, and that it generates learning, brand and channel extension, matching, and brand alliance benefits at the business-unit level. Complementary assets help to reduce the uncertainty of exploration and resolve functional conflicts at the organizational level.

KEYWORDS complementary assets, cross-functional ambidexterity, Huawei Mobile, longitudinal case study, technology transition

Headquarters Control and its Legitimation in a Chinese Multinational Corporation: The Case of Huawei
Jacky F. L. Hong and Robin Stanley Snell

ABSTRACT Based on interviews and documentary analysis, we analyzed the mechanisms being adopted by the HQ of Huawei, a Chinese MNC, for controlling the outputs and processes of its foreign subsidiaries and social behaviors within them and how these controls were supported by corresponding strategies of legitimation. The controls comprise key performance indicators, standard operating procedures, divided subsidiary mandates, HQ-centric rotational expatriation, military-style induction, public oath-taking and self-criticism ceremonies, and training in and role-modelling of core values. The HQ provides comprehensive legitimation for each of these control mechanisms, drawing on five strategies of legitimation, which comprise espousals of organizational benefits, inducement, affirmation, moral exhortation, and narrativization. In many cases, the legitimizing statements have been provided by Mr. Ren, Huawei’s founder and CEO, whose authority appears to have been important in conferring legitimacy to the HQ. The historical path of Huawei’s development as an MNC has also been salient in conferring legitimacy to the HQ. Our findings suggest that interviewees regard the controls as legitimate, that the subsidiaries broadly comply with the controls, and that micro-political contestation is largely absent.

KEYWORDS Chinese MNCs, control mechanisms, HQ-subsidiary relationships, legitimation, qualitative methods 

Entrepreneurship and the Post-COVID-19 Recovery in Emerging Economies
Klaus E. Meyer, Shameen Prashantham, and Shiqi Xu

ABSTRACT Entrepreneurs play a focal role in a society’s economic recovery from major disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We argue that entrepreneurs’ ability to identify and act on entrepreneurial opportunities during the crisis reflects their resilience, and their innovations facilitate new patterns of work, learning, and leisure activities in post-COVID-19 societies. However, how, how quickly they act, and how influential their actions are depending on their context in terms of institutions, resource access, and market volatility. In China, some entrepreneurs have shown great resilience by utilizing network relationships and digital technology, not only to overcome short-term disruptions in 2020 but to shape the evolving ‘new normal’ where behaviors and capabilities have changed as a consequence of the experience of the pandemic. We discuss drivers of such resilient entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic in China and call for further research on the interplay between external disruptions, different types of entrepreneurship, and the consequences for resilience in emerging economies.