City-REDI publications series: Professor Simon Collinson – MNE microfoundations and routines for building a legitimate and sustainable position in emerging markets

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As part of a new blog series, we will be highlighting the excellent research produced by the City-REDI team since 2015, with the aim of creating an online searchable library. You can view this work by searching the blog with the relevant tag, either using the name of the author or the year of the publication. The series continues with Professor Simon Collinson.

Simon has recently taken up the role of Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Regional Economic Engagement at the University of Birmingham. He is also Director of City-REDI, the City-Region Economic Development Institute and a Professor of International Business and Innovation at Birmingham Business School where he was the Dean from 2012-2016.


MNE microfoundations and routines for building a legitimate and sustainable position in emerging markets

Ulf Elg, Pervez N.Ghauri, John Child, Simon Collinson


A number of studies have analysed how multinational enterprises (MNEs) develop appropriate strategies for managing the institutionally different contexts of various markets. However, we still know rather little about how MNEs manage different institutional pressures when they operate in emerging markets. These markets have a higher level of uncertainty as their values and structures undergo change. This paper investigates the microfoundations and routines that can be part of developing a firm’s capability to achieve a legitimate and environmentally sustainable position in emerging markets. We focus on the microfoundations and routines for managing regulative, normative, and cultural–cognitive pressures. The paper utilizes an extensive qualitative case study approach. It reports a study at corporate and subsidiary levels of 3 Swedish MNEs in the in 4 markets: Brazil, Russia, India and China. The study identifies a set of routines for managing each of the 3 institutional forces and supporting microfoundations at individual, interactive, and structural levels. We are thus able to offer new insights on how the institutional context interacts with MNE strategies and identify more generic routines and microfoundations behind the capability for developing a sustainable market position.

To view the full paper, please click here.

The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI or the University of Birmingham.

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