Institutional Strategies in Emerging Markets

64 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2014 Last revised: 3 Sep 2014

See all articles by Christopher Marquis

Christopher Marquis

Cornell University; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Mia Raynard

WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Date Written: September 1, 2014


We review and integrate a wide range of literature that has examined the strategies by which organizations navigate institutionally diverse settings and capture rents outside of the marketplace. We synthesize this body of research under the umbrella term institutional strategies, which we define as the comprehensive set of plans and actions directed at strategically leveraging and shaping the socio-political and cultural institutions within an organization’s external environment. Our review of institutional strategies is focused on emerging market contexts, settings that are characterized by weak capital market and regulatory infrastructures and fast-paced turbulent change. Under such challenging conditions, strategies aimed at shaping the institutional environment may be especially critical to an organization’s performance and long-term survival. Our review reveals that organizations engage in three specific and identifiable sets of institutional strategies, which we term: relational, infrastructure-building, and socio-cultural bridging. We conclude by highlighting fruitful avenues for cross-disciplinary dialogue in the hope of promoting future research on emerging markets and defining the next frontier of institutional theory in organizational analysis.

Suggested Citation

Marquis, Christopher and Raynard, Mia, Institutional Strategies in Emerging Markets (September 1, 2014). Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Unit Working Paper No. 15-013, Available at SSRN: or

Christopher Marquis (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

363 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States


Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mia Raynard

WU Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )


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