Chapter 3: Institutional overlap as basis for international business

Maseland, R., 23-Nov-2017, Progress in International Business Research. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, p. 69-90 22 p. (Progress in International Business Research; vol. 12).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

This chapter investigates the theoretical support for the distance metaphor that is widely used to capture the effects of institutional diversity in international business (IB) and management studies. It argues that neither new institutional economics (NIE) nor in neo-institutional sociology (NIS) offers support for a focus on the degree of dissimilarity. Rather, both literatures emphasize dis-commonality as a problem for cooperation. In the NIE argument, common enforcement mechanisms are needed to reduce transaction costs. In the NIS argument, effective communication and cooperation is limited to meaning-giving structures common to all parties. In neither perspective, the degree of difference in structures that are not common is relevant. We propose an alternative metaphor, institutional overlap, to capture the effects of institutional diversity on IB transactions. We argue that such a concept differs from institutional distance in being agency-centered, sensitive to intra-country variation, non-additive, and driving the thickness rather than the costs of transactions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in International Business Research
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78743-718-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-78743-719-7
Publication statusPublished - 23-Nov-2017

Publication series

NameProgress in International Business Research
ISSN (Print)1745-8862


  • Distance, Diversity, Institutions, Neo-institutional sociology, New institutional economics

ID: 112422962