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Three essays on institutional pluralism and organizational strategic choices

Authors Kozhikode, Rajiv Krishnan
Issue Date 2010
Summary This dissertation consists of three inter-related essays that theorize and empirically examine the influence of institutional pluralism on organizational strategic choices. The first study focuses on political pluralism, a situation that arises when governmental power is shared between the national and sub-national branches of government and a different political party controls each branch. This study asks the question, “Whether and how such political pluralism affects the geographic expansion decisions of organizations?” Data on the branch expansion of commercial banks in India between 1948 and 2003 supports the contention political pluralism reduces the power of either government to constrain organizational action and instead leads to a political competition for votes by promising favorable resource redistribution to that location, thereby benefiting expanding organizations. The second study seeks to dwell deeper into pluralism, by examining the content of pluralism – ideological differences between different constituents of the institutional environment. Drawing on social movement research, this study seeks to address the question, “Whether and how does ideological pluralism in the institutional environment influence the ability of the government to impose its ideological prescriptions on the identity choices of organizations?” An investigation of institutional antecedents of the linguistic identity (Hindi versus any regional language) choices of newspaper organizations in India between 1948 and 2008 reveal that the ability of the government - the dominant institutional constituent – to impose its ideological prescriptions on organizational identity is contingent on the strength of its challengers and the support it enjoys from its allies. The third study highlights the observation that institutional pluralism might lead to potentially cyclic changes in the regulatory environment (i.e., leaving the possibility of return of erstwhile regulatory environments). It seeks to address the question, “How do organizations adapt to potentially cyclic changes in the regulatory environment?” Drawing on the biological metaphor of hibernation, a theory of temporary organizational adaptations to potentially cyclic changes in regulatory environment is proposed. Investigation in a panel of commercial banks in the Indian banking industry from 1980 to 2004 suggest that under hostile regulatory environments, disadvantaged organizations undergo a period of conscious and selective inactivity until favorable regulatory environment returns – a process termed as organizational hibernation.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2010
Language English
Format Thesis
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