Overcoming Institutional Voids: A Reputation-Based View of Long Run Survival

49 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2017 Last revised: 4 Feb 2017

See all articles by Cheng Gao

Cheng Gao

Harvard Business School

Tiona Zuzul

Harvard Business School

Geoffrey Gareth Jones

Harvard University - General Management Unit

Tarun Khanna

Harvard University - Strategy Unit

Date Written: January 5, 2017

Abstract

Emerging markets are characterized by underdeveloped institutions and frequent environmental shifts. Yet they also contain many firms that have survived over generations. How are firms in weak institutional environments able to persist over time? Motivated by 69 interviews with leaders of emerging market firms with histories spanning generations, we combine induction and deduction to propose reputation as a meta-resource that allows firms to activate their conventional resources. We conceptualize reputation as consisting of prominence, perceived quality, and resilience, and develop a process model that illustrates the mechanisms that allow reputation to facilitate survival in ways that persist over time. Building on research in strategy and business history, we thus shed light on an underappreciated strategic construct (reputation) in an under-theorized setting (emerging markets) over an unusual period (the historical long run).

Keywords: Emerging Markets, Institutional Voids, Reputation, Business History, Intangible Resources

Suggested Citation

Gao, Cheng and Zuzul, Tiona and Jones, Geoffrey Gareth and Khanna, Tarun, Overcoming Institutional Voids: A Reputation-Based View of Long Run Survival (January 5, 2017). Strategic Management Journal (Forthcoming), Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Working Paper No. 17-060, Harvard Business School General Management Unit Working Paper No. 17-060, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2894558 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2894558

Cheng Gao

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Tiona Zuzul

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Geoffrey Gareth Jones (Contact Author)

Harvard University - General Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

Tarun Khanna

Harvard University - Strategy Unit ( email )

Harvard Business School
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6038 (Phone)
617-495-0355 (Fax)

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