Institutional forces in adoption of international joint ventures: Empirical evidence from British retail multinationals

Martin Owens, Mark Palmer, Anna Zueva-Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we used institutional theory as a lens to understand the factors that influence the adoption of international joint ventures. Drawing on case evidence from British retail multinationals, we found MNEs adopting IJVs to manage a range of host market institutional pressures and to build legitimacy in foreign markets. Normative institutional legitimacy with customers, property agents and employees emerged as particularly salient for MNEs in our retail cases. The findings further indicated that IJV-derived legitimacy is central to market entry and development objectives. Finally, contrary to institutional theory's central assumption that MNEs seek to conform to institutional pressures, we find IJVs enabling MNEs to practice non-conforming responses, including negotiating and altering local social norms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-893
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number5
Early online date5 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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