Nesting Ambidexterity Strategies to Buffer Institutional Voids: The Case of Colombian EMNEs

Jacobo Ramirez, Claudia Patricia Velez-Zapata

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International business faces many external challenges in countries with an absence or underdevelopment of institutions that enable and support market activity (Doh et al., 2017; Khanna and Palepu, 1997). These malfunctioning formal institutions (North, 1991), defined here as institutional voids, occur when dysfunctional and corrupt governments (Gonzalez and Perez-Floriano, 2015) fail to provide strong legal systems, personal security, or rule of law. Institutional voids are critical to the development of countries in transition, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, where many countries are reaching higher income levels yet continue to face structural challenges such as inequality, lack of domestic resource mobilisation, weak social frameworks, and violence and crime (OECD/CAF/UN ECLAC, 2019). In this research, we present a perspective of institutional voids in an armed conflict context, where extortions, threats, and attacks on local and foreign organisations by actors such as terrorist groups force emerging multinational enterprises (EMNEs) to exploit existing capabilities and explore new ones (March, 1991) to ensure employee survival and employment (Dai et al., 2017). We focus on EMNEs in Colombia, which recently sustained the world's longest armed conflict (more than 60 years and more than 220,000 deaths) (Caro, 2016), yet is now a member of the OECD.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational HRM and Development in Emerging Market Multinationals
EditorsParesha Sinha, Parth Patel, Verma Prikshat
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9780367478261, 9780367522452
ISBN (Electronic)9781003057130
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesRoutledge Studies in Human Resource Development

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