Offshoring Innovation to Emerging Markets: Organizational Control and Informal Institutional Distance

Michael Sartor, Paul W. Beamish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The literature on innovation offshoring has focused on the dichotomous choice between two distinct investment strategies – captive offshoring and outsourced offshoring. We use the concept of organizational control to investigate how differences in the informal institutions that prevail in the home and host countries influence multinational enterprise (MNE) strategy (or, the organizational control decision) with respect to subsidiaries established to offshore innovation. While the relationship between formal institutions and MNE strategy has been the subject of considerable academic scrutiny, less is known about the role of informal institutions. We propose that the type of uncertainty precipitated by informal institutions is critical to understanding the strategic behavior of foreign-investing MNEs. We hypothesize that an MNE’s organizational control over a subsidiary will be contingent upon the type of informal institutional uncertainty encountered by the subsidiary. More specifically, we disaggregate the informal institutions construct and develop three new, more explicit, latent constructs – behaviorally-oriented informal institutions (BOII), technology-oriented informal institutions (TOII) and demand-oriented informal institutions (DOII). Our theory posits that while an increase in BOII distance will precipitate a preference for greater organizational control, heightened TOII and DOII distances will induce the opposite outcome – a preference for lower levels of organizational control.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1072-1095
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Volume45
Issue number9
Early online date21 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Aug 2014

Fingerprint

Offshoring
Organizational control
Informal institutions
Emerging markets
Innovation
Multinational enterprises
Subsidiaries
Uncertainty
Formal institutions
Investment strategy
Home country
Investing
Dichotomous choice
Host country
Strategic behavior

Keywords

  • informal institutions and uncertainty
  • informal institutional differences
  • foreign market entry
  • emerging markets/countries/economies
  • country risk
  • innovation and R&D

Cite this

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Offshoring Innovation to Emerging Markets: Organizational Control and Informal Institutional Distance. / Sartor, Michael; Beamish, Paul W.

In: Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 45, No. 9, 21.08.2014, p. 1072-1095.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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