پرکردن شکاف نهادی : مشارکت ها در بازارهای امرار معاش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3585||2012||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 65, Issue 12, December 2012, Pages 1721–1727
This study analyzes the impact of institutions on the structure of partnerships in subsistence markets (SMs). Grounded in institutional theory and transaction cost economics, the reasoning suggests that partnerships will adapt to the co-existence of SM-specific and external institutions in SMs. SM partnerships will include multiple partners from multiple sectors, each compensating for different institutional gaps in SMs. They will replace governance mechanisms discussed in the literature, such as formal contracts and equity, with substitutes better suited to SM contexts, including informal contracts, in-kind contributions, and gifts. The importance of these mechanisms will depend on the institutional distance between SM-specific and external institutions. Finally, different governance mechanisms will co-exist within the same partnership, as partners originating in the SM will rely on SM-specific institutions, while partners originating outside the SM will prefer to rely on external institutions where possible.
As an important strand of the literature explores the potential for business to alleviate poverty, the subsistence market (SM) literature is growing rapidly. Among its main findings, SM scholarship emphasizes the importance of cross-sector partnerships, defined as partnerships between firms, non-profits and/or public actors, for businesses seeking to establish a presence and have a positive impact in subsistence markets (e.g., Crawford-Mathis et al., 2010, Dahan et al., 2010, Johnson, 2007, London et al., 2006, Seelos and Mair, 2007 and Simanis and Hart, 2008). In parallel, many SM scholars highlight the uniqueness of the institutional environment in SMs, typically emphasizing the importance of normative and cognitive, rather than regulative, institutions in these markets (e.g., De Soto, 2000, Rivera-Santos and Rufín, 2010 and Webb et al., 2010), amid calls for greater scholarly attention to the role of institutions in emerging economies (Teegen, Doh, & Vachani, 2004). Despite the recognition of uniqueness of institutions in SMs, and the established link between interorganizational relationships and their institutional environment (e.g., Williamson, 1985), no study heretofore systematically explores the potential impact of SM institutions on the structure of SM partnerships. This analysis seems particularly important, as mismatches between the local environment and the structure of SM ventures seem to represent a major challenge for practitioners and may actually lead companies to abandon SM partnerships (Karamchandani, Kubzansky, & Lalwani, 2011). The purpose of this paper is to start filling this gap by answering the following research question: How do SM-specific and external institutions impact partnership structures in subsistence markets? Grounded in institutional theory and transaction cost economics (TCE), the paper develops propositions regarding the impact of the co-existence of different sets of institutions on the structure of partnerships in SMs. While the paper's approach is conceptual, examples from the literature serve to illustrate the paper's propositions. The analysis suggests that, in response to the co-existence of potentially conflicting institutions in SMs, partnerships will typically include multiple partners from multiple sectors, to compensate for institutional gaps and substitute for missing market actors. To mitigate opportunism risks, they will replace the governance mechanisms typically discussed in the literature, particularly equity and contracts, with substitutes that are better suited to SM-specific institutions, including in-kind contributions, gifts, and informal contracts. The importance of these substitutes will depend on the institutional distance between the institutions prevailing in a given SM and the institutions prevailing outside the SM. Finally, different governance mechanisms will co-exist within the same partnership, as partners originating in the SM will rely on SM-specific institutions, while partners originating outside the SM will prefer to rely on external institutions where possible. The paper makes three main contributions. First, the study contributes to the Subsistence Market and Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) literatures, by developing a framework of SM partnership structures that recognizes both the uniqueness of SM-specific institutions and their relationship to external institutions. Second, the paper contributes to the broader partnership and alliance literatures, by exploring the role of normative and cognitive institutions in settings where regulative institutions are weak, and by analyzing the implications of the co-existence of several institutional environments for interorganizational relations. Third, the framework can help practitioners overcome the mismatch between local environments and governance choices, which often hinders the effectiveness of SM partnerships (Karamchandani et al., 2011). The next section analyzes SM institutions, highlighting the prevalence of normative and cognitive institutions and the typical co-existence of SM-specific and external institutions in SMs. Building on these insights and on findings from the SM partnership literature, a subsequent section develops propositions and proposes a framework analyzing the impact of SM institutions on the structure of partnerships, including the partners and their activities, and the governance mechanisms set up in SM partnerships. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the analysis for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Grounded in institutional theory and TCE, the conceptual framework developed in this paper points to SM partnerships uniquely bridging the divide between SM-specific and external institutions. The paper's logic suggests that SM partnerships, contrasting with more traditional alliances and partnerships, will involve multiple partners from multiple sectors, leading to a prevalence of tri- and quadripartite partnerships. To mitigate opportunism, partners will substitute governance mechanisms, such as equity and formal contracts, which rely on regulative institutions, with alternative governance mechanisms, such as informal contracts, in-kind contributions and gifts, which rely on normative and cognitive institutions. The paper's logic further suggests that, as the institutional distance between SM-specific and external institutions increases, the importance of these substitute mechanisms will also increase. Finally, the reasoning suggests that different sets of governance mechanisms will co-exist, as partners originating outside the SM will prefer to rely on external institutions, rather than SM-specific institutions, to govern their own relationship with the SM partnership. Thus, the analysis makes three main contributions to the literature. It contributes to the Subsistence Market and Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) literatures, by proposing a novel framework of SM partnership structures. It contributes to the broader partnership and alliance literatures, by analyzing the implications for governance structures of contexts in which regulative institutions are weak, or in which several sets of institutions co-exist. Third, the proposed framework can help practitioners avoid mismatches between governance choices and SM environments, which may explain why firms abandon these markets (Karamchandani et al., 2011). This paper is conceptual in nature, meaning that the analysis is not based on additional empirical research, but relies on existing theory to develop stylized propositions, and on examples from the SM and BoP literatures to illustrate, rather than prove or disprove, the theoretical argument. The most important future extension of the paper is therefore the empirical testing of its propositions. In-depth case studies across various types of SMs could provide at the same time detailed data for each case and variation across cases (Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007). Alternatively, a network analysis of a few SM partnerships could lead to important and more quantitative insights into the relationship between SM institutions and partnership structures. The foregoing analysis leaves a few questions out of the scope of the paper, which represent important avenues for future research in the SM and BOP literatures. First and foremost, this paper deliberately avoids analysis of differences across SMs in order to limit the complexity of the arguments. However, some recent papers (e.g., Rivera-Santos and Rufín, 2010 and Viswanathan et al., 2009) call for a deeper understanding of variations across SMs. Anthropological research has shown that traditional communities differ in their political institutions along a continuum, from “acephalous” communities where regulative institutions are largely absent, to “monarchical” communities, where regulative institutions are embedded in religious or other cultural norms, and which are thus much closer to the Western pattern of highly specialized regulative institutions based on explicit “social pacts” or constitutions (Cheater, 2003). This continuum suggests that SM-specific institutions in some SM communities may actually include some kind of regulative institutions, leading to the intriguing possibility of interactions between SM-specific regulative institutions and external regulative institutions, which are outside the scope of this paper. A logical next step for the research undertaken in this paper is thus to examine how SM partnerships are impacted by institutional differences along this continuum. Another extension of this paper concerns the exploration of the generalizability of the propositions developed in this paper to other types of SM partnerships, such as philanthropic ventures, market expansions, or partnerships between purely local actors. This analysis could help better understand the differences and similarities that may exist between SM partnerships with different goals. Additionally, the paper's focus on institutions leaves for future research the analysis of the impact of other important dimensions, such as rural vs. urban locations, highly unstable vs. more stable environments, and extreme vs. relative poverty. Finally, the dynamic analysis of the relationship between regulative, normative, and cognitive institutions as markets develop is also sure to provide important insights into how firms and their SM partners structure their relationship over time. More broadly, this analysis suggests avenues for future research in the broader alliance and international business (IB) literatures. The alliance literature has focused its analysis of informal governance mechanisms on trust (Poppo & Zenger, 2002). This paper suggests that a variety of other informal mechanisms relying on normative and cognitive institutions are available, particularly in contexts in which regulative institutions are weak. Consideration of various normative and cognitive institutions shows that a rich range of possibilities may exist in addition to trust for alliance scholars to explore. The IB literature, on the other hand, has paid increasing attention to normative and cognitive institutions and their variation across locations. The research presented in this paper expands the analysis of the role of normative and cognitive institutions on firms' market entry strategies by applying it to unfamiliar settings like SMs, thus opening interesting avenues for research on the relationship between normative and cognitive institutions and firms' strategies. This paper also expands the concept of institutional distance (Xu & Shenkar, 2002) by applying it to the distance between SM-specific and external institutions, rather than to the distance between different countries. Important institutional variations can exist within countries and may be particularly important for markets that are characterized by their isolation from the rest of the economy like SMs (De Soto, 2000 and Rivera-Santos and Rufín, 2010), thus starting to respond to Scott's (2005) call for a better understanding of within-country institutional variations. This work should thus encourage other scholars to pursue the exploration of how a deeper understanding of subsistence markets can help inform the broader theories and frameworks used in management disciplines.