Coping with the African Business Environment: Enterprise Strategy in Response to Institutional Uncertainty in Tanzania

Michael W. Hansen*, Thilde Langevang, Lettice Rutashobya, Goodluck Urassa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Weak institutions, endemic market failures and low trust permeate the Tanzanian business environment. Nevertheless, some local enterprises overcome these challenges. Based on case studies of Tanzanian food processing enterprises, this paper identifies a number of coping strategies that contrasts markedly with the strategies traditionally emphasized by the strategic management literature: Instead of focus strategies, Tanzanian enterprises diversify; Instead of competitive strategies, Tanzanian enterprises adopt network strategies; And instead of internationalizing based on strengths, Tanzanian enterprises internationalize to overcome weaknesses. The paper traces these strategies back to specificities of the Tanzanian institutional environment and discusses implications for the strategic management literature.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of African Business
Volume19
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-26
ISSN1522-8916
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Published online: 18 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Strategic management
  • Food processing
  • Tanzania
  • Coping strategies
  • Institutions

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