Managing Institutional Complexity – A Case Study on the Legitimacy Strategies of Puma
University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 321, 2nd edition
56 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 7, 2013
Multinational corporations are operating in complex business environments. They are confronted with contradictory institutional demands that often represent mutually incompatible expectations of various audiences. Managing these demands poses new organizational challenges for the corporation. Conducting an empirical case study at the sportswear manufacturer Puma, we explore how multinational corporations respond to institutional complexity and what legitimacy strategies they employ to maintain their license to operate. We draw on the literature on institutional theory, contingency theory and organizational paradoxes. The results of our qualitative longitudinal study show that managing corporate legitimacy is a dynamic process in which corporations adapt organizational capacities, structures and procedures.
Keywords: Globalization, Legitimacy, Paradox, Institutional Complexity, Institutional Theory, MNE
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