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This page contains information on open calls for informality-related projects, organised by the contributors to the Encyclopaedia, to foster collaboration among the authors.

CFP: Informal networks ‒ The dark and the bright side of managing informally

Informal networks ‒ The dark and the bright side of managing informally, a special issue of Management and Organization Review (MOR)

Guest editors:

  • Sven Horak, St. John’s University, New York, USA
  • Fida Afiouni, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Yanjie Bian, University of Minnesota, USA and Xi'an Jiantong-Liverpool University, China
  • Alena Ledeneva, University College London, UK
  • Maral Muratbekova-Touron, ESCP Europe, Paris, France

MOR supervising editor:

  • Carl Fey, Aalto University, Finland and Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Submission deadline (full paper): 31 January 2019 (Manuscript shall be submitted via the MOR (Cambridge) website.)

Research on the mechanisms of organizing and managing via interpersonal relations has a rich history in the management and organization-oriented literature. So far, however, the informal dimension of managing and organizing by drawing on informal networks in an international context has received comparably less attention. Recent research has pointed out that social capital and network theories have largely been developed by Western scholars based on circumstances and social structures that are typical of Western societies. Thus, the current theory takes into account to a lesser extent their character and nature and the way in which informal ties and networks are formed in other parts of the world (Li, 2007b; Qi, 2013; Sato, 2010, Ledeneva, 2018). Besides the growing body of literature concerned with informal ties and networks in emerging and transitioning countries, for example guanxi (China), blat/ svyazi (Russia), and wasta (Arab World), a trend for analyzing pervasive informal networks in advanced and industrialized economies, such as yongo (Korea), has arisen. While in particular insights from the latter research stream indicate that informal networks persist, the results generated in both research streams will help in developing the extant informal network theories further.

With this special issue, the guest editors aim to advance these trends by shedding light on the ambivalent operating modes of informal networks. Although informality can be regarded as a normal approach or the status quo of managing and organizing in many parts of the world, it tends to have a bitter aftertaste in the Western world (Ledeneva, 1998), since terms such as favoritism, nepotism, cronyism, or even corruption are at times perceived to be equivalents. Given the importance of informal coordination in many of the largest consumer markets in the world (e.g. China, Russia and the former Soviet Union states, the Arab world, or South America), there is a need to understand better the dark and the bright side of managing and organizing through informal networks.

More information

Theoretical framing to analyze informal networks has been provided by several increasingly intertwined access points with roots in sociology or economics (Hennart, 2015). A typical approach to analyzing informal networks has been to use a social network and/or social capital frame. Granovetter (1973, 2017) sharpened the understanding of social networks by introducing different types (natures) of ties for network organization to the literature. Burt (1995) and Coleman (1988) contributed to it with their work on the specific structures of social networks and their respective parameters. The concept of social capital has been used as a frame to discuss informal ties (Bourdieu, 1986; Burt, 1992; Putnam, 1995; Tsai & Ghoshal, 1998) by addressing the ‘intangible,’ informal mechanisms supporting economic interaction in social networks, for example by means of the shared norms and values that evolve in societies. Viewed from a broader perspective, informal networks can be characterized as an informal institution, since they set ‘the rules of the game,’ as famously described by Douglass North, by drawing on customs and traditions, values, norms, or beliefs that influence behavior and decision making (North, 1990). Typically they are said to be of greater importance for the coordination of activities in transitional economies, where formal institutions (e.g. contracts, formal rules, law, courts, etc.) are ineffective or non-existent (North, 1990; Peng, Pinkham, Sun, & Chen, 2009). This follows the rather popular view that, as soon as formal institutions develop towards effectiveness, informal networks may disappear, as people may rather draw on ways to coordinate activities that are formal and often regarded as more reliable. However, recent research has shown that informal institutions can persist even in environments in which formal institutions have been firmly established, which makes gaining an understanding of informal networks even more important (Horak, 2014; Horak & Klein, 2016; Li, 1998, 2007a, 2007b).

Progress has been achieved in increasing the understanding of the informal networks in respective countries, such as guanxi in China (Bian, 1997, 2017; Li, 2007a, 2007b; Luo, 2000; Opper, Nee, & Holm, 2017), blat and svyazi in Russia (Ledeneva, 1998, 2006; Smith et al., 2012; Yakubovich, 2005), yongo in South Korea (Horak, 2014; Horak & Klein, 2016; Horak & Taube, 2016), clanism in Kazakhstan (Minbaeva & Muratbekova-Touron, 2013), or wasta in the Arab world (Abosag & Lee, 2013; Al-Husan, Al-Hussan, & Fletcher-Chen, 2014; Hutchings & Weir, 2006). Though recent insights have complemented the extant knowledge, informal network research in an international context is still in its infancy, with the bulk of the research interest concentrating on guanxi. Despite the progress that has been achieved, there is a need to broaden the scope by taking a holistic and more inclusive view of informal networks, thereby extending the knowledge base upon which an integrative informal network theory can emerge. To achieve this, there is still a knowledge gap to fill concerning both sides of the coin, that is, the dark side and the bright side of informal networking. The latter refers, for instance, to an often-high level of trust between network members, a high level of sociability, a reduction of transaction costs, and a reduction of the risk of free riding of network members. The dark side of informal networking, on the contrary, relates to its vulnerability to corruption in any form, favoritism, and nepotism, to name a few examples. Important theoretical questions in this regard remain unanswered so far, such as:

  • When and under which conditions are informal networks perceived positively or negatively? Which factors influence the positive versus negative perception of informal networks?
  • When and under which conditions do informal networks support illegal or unethical practices?
  • How do informal institutions (e.g. corruption) and formal institutions (e.g. laws) interact? How do they influence each other?
  • How can positive network effects be nurtured and negative ones extinguished?
  • What are the implications for international business ethics theory as a consequence of the dark side–bright side discussion concerning informal networking?

In addition to the theoretical knowledge gaps mentioned above, multinational corporations (MNCs) deal either consciously or, more likely, unconsciously with informal networks in respective markets worldwide. However, we do not know much about how MNCs manage informally, that is, whether systematic processes are in place to manage informal ties, as reported by Kim (2007) in the case of Samsung, or whether they are hidden and treated discretely or even avoided or intentionally ignored. In any case, MNCs must decide whether engaging in informal networking is ethical, given the ambivalence of informal networks, that is, the existence of a dark and a bright side.

The special issue aims to add, extend, and complement the current theory. We expect manuscripts to bring strong empirical contributions that develop and extend theory as well as more conceptual papers that integrate critique and expand existing theory. We encourage the use of methods that are appropriate to both the research context and research questions and therefore welcome both qualitative and quantitative methods of investigation and analysis. Contributions should report original research that is not under consideration at any other journal. Papers should fit but are not limited to the following themes:

  • How can the dark side of informal networks be described in its respective local or an international context? How are informal networks misused?
  • How can the bright side of informal networks be described in its respective local or an international context? How do positive features turn into negative ones?
  • Construct knowledge: How can respective informal networks be characterized in terms of their structure and nature? What are the differences from the extant theory?
  • How can foreign staff (e.g. expatriates) become members of respective informal networks? Can these networks be used without becoming members?
  • Which questions important to international business ethics arise in connection to the involvement in and usage of informal networks? Should informal networks be judged through the ethical lens at all? How is culture intertwined with respective informal networks?
  • How do local or multinational firms deal with informal networks in respective markets? Can they be ‘formalized’ and managed?
  • Does engaging in informal networking oppose the corporate code of conduct of MNCs?
  • How do and/or should firms deal with potential information flowing or being exchanged through informal networks in cases in which employees are more loyal to their informal networks than to a firm’s code of conduct? Can intellectual property be protected in such a dynamic environment?

Submission information: This call for papers is open and competitive, and all submitted papers will be subjected to anonymous review by referees with expertise in the field. Full paper shall be submitted by 31 January 2019 (due date) via the MOR (Cambridge) website:

It is important that all papers for the special issue conform to MOR’s submission requirements published under the following link:

Special issue conference: The guest editors of the special issue intend to organize a workshop as part of a major conference in summer 2019. The workshop should serve to exchange ideas on how to develop the submissions to the special issue further, to discuss the theoretical interconnections between the papers, and to establish the overall contribution to the topic of informality in the management and organization research focusing on informal ties and networks. Participation in this workshop will not be regarded as a requirement for submitting a paper to the special issue, but the conference offers an opportunity for scholars to get some feedback on a paper prior to its final submission. The guest editors will update the authors on where the event will be held once the time and place is decided.

Timeline (plan): January 31, 2019 – full paper submission April 15, 2019 – 1st round decision (revise & resubmit /reject) Summer 2019 – Special issue conference (time and place to be announced) Tentative publication date – end of 2020 or 2021


Abosag, I., & Lee, J.-W. (2013). The formation of trust and commitment in business relationships in the Middle East: Understanding Et-Moone relationships. International Business Review, 22(3), 602–614.

Al-Hussan, F. B., Al-Husan, F. B., & Fletcher-Chen, C. C.-Y. (2014). Environmental factors influencing the management of key accounts in an Arab Middle Eastern context. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(4), 592–602.

Bian, Y. (1997). Bringing strong ties back in: Indirect ties, network bridges, and job searches in China. American Sociological Review, 62(3), 366–385.

Bian, Y. (2017). The comparative significance of guanxi. Management and Organization Review, 13(2), 261-267.

Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York: Greenwood.

Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Burt, R. S. (1995). Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94, 95–120.

Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.

Granovetter, M. 2017. Society and economy: Framework and principles. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Hennart, J.-F. (2015). Leveraging Asian institutions to deepen theory: A transaction cost perspective on relational governance. Asian Business & Management, 14(4), 257–282.

Horak, S. (2014). Antecedents and characteristics of informal relation-based networks in Korea: Yongo, yonjul and inmaek. Asia Pacific Business Review, 20(1), 78-108.

Horak, S., & Klein, A. (2016). Persistence of informal social networks in East Asia: Evidence from South Korea. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 33(3), 673–694.

Horak, S., & Taube, M. (2016). Same but different? Similarities and fundamental differences of informal social networks in China (guanxi) and Korea (yongo). Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 33(3), 595–616.

Hutchings, K., & Weir, D. (2006). Understanding networking in China and the Arab World: Lessons for international managers. Journal of European Industrial Training, 30(4), 272–290.

Kim, Y. T. 2007. Korean Elites: Social Networks and Power. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 37(1), 19–37.

Ledeneva, A. V. (1998). Russia’s economy of favours: Blat, networking, and informal exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ledeneva, A. V. (2006). How Russia really works: The informal practices that shaped post-Soviet politics and business. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Ledeneva, A. (Ed.) (2018). The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, Volume 1 and 2. London: UCL Press. Online:

Li, P. P. (1998). Towards a geocentric framework of organizational form: A holistic, dynamic and paradoxical approach. Organization Studies, 19(5), 829–861.

Li, P. P. (2007a). Guanxi as the Chinese norm for personalized social capital: Toward an integrated duality framework of informal exchange. In H. W. Yeoung (Ed.), Handbook of research on Asian business (pp. 62–83). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Li, P. P. (2007b). Social tie, social capital, and social behavior: Toward an integrative model of informal exchange. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 24(2), 227–246.

Luo, Y. (2000). Guanxi and business. In Y. Luo (Ed.), Guanxi and business. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company.

Minbaeva, D. B., & Muratbekova-Touron, M. (2013). Clanism: Definition and implications for human resource management. Management International Review, 53(1), 109–139.

North, D. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Opper, S., Nee, V., & Holm, H. J. (2017). Risk aversion and guanxi activities: A behavioral analysis of CEOs in China. Academy of Management Journal, 60(4), 1504–1530.

Peng, M. W., Pinkham, B., Sun, S. L., & Chen, H. (2009). The institution-based view as a third leg for a strategy tripod. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(4), 63–81.

Putnam, R. D. (1995). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 65–78.

Qi, X. 2013. Guanxi, social capital theory and beyond: Toward a globalized social science. British Journal of Sociology, 64(2), 308–324.

Sato, Y. 2010. Are Asian sociologies possible? Universalism versus particularism. In M. Burawoy, M. Chang, & M. F. Hsieh (Eds.), Facing an unequal world: Challenges for a global sociology, Vol. 2 (pp. 192–200). Taipei: Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, and Council of National Associations of International Sociological Association.

Smith, P. B., Torres, C., Leong, C. H., Budhward, P., Achouie, M., & Lebedeva, N. (2012). Are indigenous approaches to achieving influence in business organizations distinctive? A comparative study of guanxi, wasta, jeitinho, svyazi and pulling strings. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(2), 333–348.

Tsai, W., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital and value creation: The role of intrafirm networks. Academy of Management Journal, 41(4), 464–476.

Yakubovich, V. (2005). Weak ties, information, and influence: How workers find jobs in a local Russian labor market. American Sociological Review, 70(3), 408–421.

CFP: Informal institutions and international business

Informal institutions and international business - A special issue of the Journal of International Business Studies


  • Luis Alfonso Dau (Northeastern University, USA,
  • Aya Chacar (Florida International University, USA,
  • Marjorie Lyles (Indiana University, USA,
  • Jiatao Li (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong,

Deadline for submission: August 31, 2018

Tentative publication date: Spring 2020


This call invites papers focusing on the relationship between informal institutions and international business. In this special issue, we understand institutions to be “humanly devised constraints” or “the rules of the game in a society” (North, 1990: 3). Much attention has been paid to formal institutions, or the written (or codified) rules or constraints, such as laws, regulations, constitutions, contracts, property rights, and formal agreements. On the other hand, much less attention has been given to informal institutions or the typically unwritten but socially shared rules and constraints (Pejovich, 1999; Sartor & Beamish, 2014; Sauerwald & Peng, 2013). These informal institutions include common values, cognitions, beliefs, traditions, customs, sanctions, and norms of behavior that are often expected or taken for granted (North, 1990, 2005). In common parlance, the term ‘institutions’ is often used to refer to ‘organizations’ (e.g., governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, etc.), but it is important to distinguish between institutions and organizations for academic purposes in order to examine the relationship between them (Chacar, Celo, & Hesterly, 2017; North, 1990, 2005; Scott, 2013). For instance, the WTO is an organization that provides a formal institutional framework of written rules to which its member countries agree to adhere. Simultaneously, membership in the WTO creates informal (or unwritten) institutional structures between member nations, such as reciprocity and interdependency expectations. Papers examining the interaction of formal and informal institutions on international business are also welcome.

In the advent of globalization, the international business literature has increasingly emphasized the importance of considering the institutional environment, instead of studying firm behavior in a vacuum (Dau, 2012, 2013, 2017; Eden, 2010; Kostova, 1997, Kostova et al., 2008; Li, 2013; Li & Qian, 2013). Still, a gap exists in our understanding of informal institutions, as formal institutions only provide part of the picture (North, 1990). This gap is particularly problematic in developing and emerging markets, where informal institutions may have a more prominent role, enabling and facilitating business transactions (Khanna & Palepu, 1997, 2000; Verbeke & Kano, 2013).

Note that this special issue invites papers on informal institutions and not culture, although submissions may examine their relationship and tease out the differences between the two constructs as they relate to international business. Some prior work has treated culture and informal institutions as synonymous. However, these two terms are distinct albeit they can overlap at times. Definitions of culture vary in the literature, but it is typically defined as “the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another. Culture in this sense is a system of collectively held values” (Hofstede, 1984: 51). It “is the deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs” (Schein, 1985: 6-7; see also, Hofstede, 1980, 1994; House et al., 2004; Schein, 2004; Tung & Verbeke, 2010). Informal institutions, on the other hand, are the actual unwritten rules and norms of behavior (North, 1990, 2005), which likely arise as a result of and in conjunction with the cultural framework, but also of formal structures in place in a given location. For instance, whereas culture is often captured with broad dimensions such as the degree of uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede, 1980), embeddedness (Schwartz, 1992), or assertiveness (House, et al., 2004), informal institutions specifically refer to the shared unwritten rules or norms in a society, organization, or other social grouping.

More information

Interdisciplinary Work and Work from Different Perspectives

Interdisciplinary work and research from different institutional perspectives is particularly welcome. Campbell (2004) has identified three main “institutional theories”: rational choice institutionalism (or institutional economics/comparative institutional analyses) (North, 1990; Williamson, 1975, 1985, 2000), organizational institutionalism (or neo-institutional theory) (DiMaggio & Powell, 1991; Scott, 1987, 2013), and historical institutionalism (or institutional sociology) (Granovetter, 1985, 1992, 2017). These theoretical strands are associated primarily with economics, political science, and sociology, respectively, but have been used across disciplines using other names as well (Campbell, 2004).

Submissions should make a clear and novel theoretical contribution, but may build on any theoretical lens (e.g., internalization theory, resource based view, transaction cost economics, evolutionary theory, learning theory, agency theory, etc.) in addition to the institutional theories (Cantwell et al., 2010; Dunning & Lundan, 2008, 2010). What is critical is to use the institutional framework to help develop new theoretical insights.

Furthermore, we encourage work that provides novel ways of measuring informal institutions.

Sample Topics

Given the limited attention on the effects of informal institutions on firms, as well as on the joint effects of formal and informal institutions on firms, this call for papers is purposefully broad. The following is not an exhaustive list, but provides some examples of potential topics:

1. How do informal institutions, and their interactions with formal institutions, affect firms?

  • What is their impact on firm strategy across borders (e.g., internationalization decisions, location choices, mode of entry decisions, entrepreneurship, global corporate social responsibility, global innovation, etc.) (Dau & Cuervo-Cazurra, 2014; Pejovich, 1999)?
  • Are some of these institutions or combinations of institutions in different markets more conducive to firm success (Chacar, Newburry, & Vissa, 2010)?
  • How do firms organize internally to improve their institutional fit across countries? What structures and organizational models do they choose under different institutional conditions?
  • How do organizations learn the informal rules and develop international capabilities to manage them (Easterby-Smith & Lyles, 2011; Lyles, 2014)? How do resources and capabilities vary in these differing institutional contexts?
  • How does informal knowledge sharing or know-how sharing take place? How do inter- and intra-organizational learning systems and knowledge transfer relate to informal vis-à-vis formal institutional information and knowledge?
  • Do informal rules and governance choices allow unethical choices that are covered up? What happens if they are exposed?
  • What is the relationship between governance choices and the use of informal institutional structures, such as relational contracting based on favors, trust, reciprocity, interdependency, family ties, social capital networks, mutually beneficial relationships, interpersonal connections, and business group networks (Vissa, Greve, & Chen, 2010)? What is the specific role of informal structures such as Guanxi/Guanxiwang in China, Blats/Svyazy in Russia, Wasta in the Arab World, Immak in Korea, Kankei in Japan, Jeito/Jeitinho in Brazil, and ‘grease’ payments (Batjargal, 2007; Chen et al., 2004; Chua et al., 2009; Ledeneva, 1998; Millington et al., 2005; Opper et al., 2017; Park & Luo, 2001; Smith et al., 2012; Zhou et al., 2007)?
  • How do informal institutions alter the value distributions among stakeholders (Chacar & Hesterly, 2008; Coff, 1999; Lieberman & Chacar, 1997)?
  • How does the nature of competition and industry structure change with the informal institutional structure? Are foreign and local firms affected differently (Chacar & Vissa, 2005)?

2. How do these institutions change and how do actors and organizations affect them (Vaccaro & Palazzo, 2015)?

  • How do firms engage in non-market strategies to affect informal and formal institutions and institutional structures/frameworks?
  • How do firms influence formal and informal institutions in different ways?
  • What is the impact of informal institutions on international organizations (e.g., international non-governmental organizations [INGOs], inter-governmental organizations [IGOs], international non-profit organizations [INPOs], etc.) and how do these organizations affect informal institutions?

Research Across Levels of Analysis

Although institutions are typically conceptualized at the national level of analysis, they may also be conceptualized at other levels, such as the supranational, regional, corporate, subsidiary, functional area, or workgroup/team levels of analysis. Papers focusing on informal institutions at different levels are also welcome. In particular, papers that study informal institutions across levels of analysis are particularly welcome. Some examples follow:

  • How are informal supranational institutions (i.e., hyper norms that cross borders) and formal supranational institutions (i.e., international laws, rules, regulations, and agreements) shaped by globalization and how does this affect international business?
  • How are supranational informal and formal institutions impacted by the diversity in informal and formal national environments and how does this complicate international business? Similarly, how can firms cope with or even benefit from such differences?
  • When do the informal and formal institutional frameworks of a firm clash and when are they compatible with the informal and formal institutional environments of their home and host countries of operation?
  • How can firms align informal and formal institutions across their international subsidiaries or across their areas of operation to enhance their international efficiency, growth, and performance?
  • How do business group informal institutional structures and networks operate and what are the implications for international business?
  • How do firms manage informal institutional differences across their international units (headquarters/subsidiaries), functional areas, or work groups?
  • Do MNEs provide a means of reducing informal and formal institutional differences across nations?

Conference and Symposium

With the aim of helping the authors further develop their papers, we will organize a paper development workshop conference during the spring of 2019. We will invite the authors of papers that receive the option to revise and resubmit their manuscripts. Together with the review process, the opportunity to present and receive comments from discussants and conference participants, will aid authors in strengthening and refining their papers.

Furthermore, we plan to have a symposium at a major academic conference in 2020 for the final selected papers that will appear in the special issue, in order to increase their visibility and impact.

Submission Process and Deadlines

Submissions need to meet JIBS guidelines, including in terms of what is considered international business. Typically, single country studies are only considered international if they focus on international firms or firm internationalization. Furthermore, submission should have implications for international business, although they may also have secondary implications for other fields.

All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this Special Issue. Manuscripts must be submitted between August 17-31, at All submissions will go through the JIBS regular double-blind review process and follow the standard norms and processes.

For more information about this Call for Papers, please contact the Special Issue Editors or the JIBS Managing Editor (


Batjargal, B. 2007. Network triads: transitivity, referral and venture capital decisions in China and Russia. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(6): 998-1012.

Campbell, J.L. 2004. Institutional Change and Globalization. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Cantwell, J.L., Dunning, J.H. and Lundan, S.M. 2010. An evolutionary approach to understanding international business activity: The co-evolution of MNEs and the institutional environment. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(4): 567-586.

Chacar, A.S., & Hesterly, W. 2008. Institutional settings and rent appropriation by knowledge‐based employees: the case of Major League Baseball. Managerial and Decision Economics, 29(2‐3), 117-136.

Chacar, A.S., Newburry, W., & Vissa, B. 2010. Bringing institutions into performance persistence research: Exploring the impact of product, financial, and labor market institutions. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(7), 1119-1140.

Chacar, A.S., & Vissa, B. 2005. Are emerging economies less efficient? Performance persistence and the impact of business group affiliation. Strategic Management Journal, 26(10), 933-946.

Chacar, A.S., Celo, S. & Hesterly 2017. The Rules of the Game in MLB: Do Formal or Informal Institutions Change First? Business History, in press:

Chen, C.C., Chen, Y.R., and Xin, K. 2004. Guanxi practices and trust in management: A procedural justice perspective. Organization Science, 15(2): 200-209.

Chua, R.Y., Morris, M.W., and Ingram, P. 2009. Guanxi vs. networking: Distinctive configurations of affect-and cognition-based trust in the networks of Chinese vs. American managers. Journal of International Business Studies, 40(3): 490-508.

Coff, R.W. 1999. When competitive advantage doesn't lead to performance: The resource-based view and stakeholder bargaining power. Organization science, 10(2), 119-133.

Dau, L.A. 2012. Pro-market reforms and developing country multinational corporations. Global Strategy Journal, 2(3): 262-276.

Dau, L.A. 2013. Learning across geographic space: Pro-market reforms, multinationalization strategy, and profitability. Journal of International Business Studies, 44(3): 235-262.

Dau, L.A. 2017. Contextualizing international learning: The moderating effects of mode of entry and subsidiary networks on the relationship between reforms and profitability. Journal of World Business, in press:

Dau, L.A. and Cuervo-Cazurra, A. 2014. To Formalize or Not to Formalize: Entrepreneurship and pro-Market Institutions. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(5): 668-686.

DiMaggio, P.J. and Powell, W.W. (eds.) 1991. The new institutionalism in organizational analysis (Vol. 17). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Dunning, J.H. and Lundan, S.M. 2008. Institutions and the OLI paradigm of the multinational enterprise. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 25(4): 573–593.

Dunning, J. H. and Lundan, S.M. 2010. The institutional origins of dynamic capabilities in multinational enterprises. Industrial and Corporate Change, 19(4): 1225-1246.

Easterby-Smith, M., and Lyles, M.A. (Eds.) 2011. Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management. New York: John Willey and Sons.

Eden, L. 2010. Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: Lifting the veil on how institutions matter in IB research. Journal of International Business Studies, 41.2: 175-177.

Granovetter, M. 1985. Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91: 481–510.

Granovetter, M. 1992. Economic institutions as social constructions: A framework for analysis. Acta Sociologica, 35(1): 3-11.

Granovetter, M. 2017. Society and economy: Framework and principles. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hofstede, G. 1980. Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Hofstede, G. 1984. National cultures and corporate cultures. In L.A. Samovar, R.E. Porter (Eds.), Communication between cultures. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Hofstede, G. 1994. The business of international business is culture. International Business Review, 3(1): 1–14.

House, R.J., Hanges, P.J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P.W., & Gupta, V. (Eds.). 2004. Culture, leadership and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Khanna, T. and Palepu, K.G. 1997. Why focused strategies may be wrong for emerging markets. Harvard Business Review, 75(4): 41-51.

Khanna, T. and Palepu, K.G. 2000. The future of business groups in emerging markets: Long-run evidence from Chile. Academy of Management Journal, 43: 268-285.

Kostova, T. 1997. Country institutional profiles: Concept and measurement. Academy of Management Proceedings, 180-183.

Kostova, T., Roth, K. and Dacin, M.T. 2008. Institutional theory in the study of multinational corporations: A critique and new directions. Academy of Management Review, 33(4): 994-1006.

Ledeneva, A.V. 1998. Russia’s economy of favors: Blat, networking, and informal exchange. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Li, J.T. 2013. The Internationalization of Entrepreneurial Firms from Emerging Economies: The Roles of Institutional Transitions and Market Opportunities. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 11(2): 158-171.

Li, J.T and Qian, C. 2013. Principal-Principal Conflicts under Weak Institutions: A Study of Corporate Takeovers in China. Strategic Management Journal, 34: 498-508.

Lieberman, M. & Chacar, A.S. 1997. Distribution of Returns among Stakeholders: Method and Application to U.S. and Japanese Companies . In Thomas, Howard and O’Neal, Don (Eds.) 1997, Strategic Discovery: Competing in New Arenas. John Wiley & Sons Ltd: London, UK.

Lyles, M.A. 2014. Organizational Learning, knowledge creation, problem formulation and innovation in messy problems. European Management Journal, 32(1): 132-136.

Millington, A., Eberhardt, M., and Wilkinson, B. 2005. Gift giving, guanxi and illicit payments in buyer–supplier relations in China: Analysing the experience of UK companies. Journal of Business Ethics, 57(3): 255-268.

North, D.C. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance. New York: Cambridge University Press.

North, D.C. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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About the Guest Editors

Luis Alfonso Dau is an associate professor of International Business and Strategy at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. His research focuses on the strategic responses of emerging market firms to institutional processes and changes. He is particularly interested in the impact of regulatory reforms on the international strategy and performance of such firms.

Aya Chacar is an Professor in Management and International Business and Ingersoll-Rand Chaired Professor at Florida International University. She holds a PhD in Strategy and Organization from University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests are on the interaction of institutions and globalization on firm organization and leadership, strategy and performance, strategic human assets and value appropriation. Marjorie Lyles is Professor of International Strategic Management at Indiana University Kelley School of Business and the Kimball Faculty Fellow. She was founding Director of the Indiana University Center on Southeast Asia. She is a member of the American Management Association's International Council and has been an Invited Scholar and consultant for the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Peoples' Republic of China. Marjorie's writings center on organizational learning, international strategies and cooperative alliances, and technology development particularly in emerging economies. She is a Fellow of the Academy of International Business and a JIBS Area Editor. Jiatao (JT) Li is Lee Quo Wei Professor of Business, Head and Chair Professor of Management, and the Senior Associate Dean of the HKUST Business School, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His current research interests are in the areas of organizational learning, strategic alliances, corporate governance, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on issues related to global firms and those from emerging economies. His work has appeared in top academic journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal. He is a Fellow of the Academy of International Business and a JIBS Area Editor.

Call for chapters: Mobilities and informality in former socialist spaces

Mobilities and informality in former socialist spaces (to be published with Palgrave – end 2019 or early 2020)


  • Abel Polese, Dublin City University and Tallinn University
  • Rano Turaeva, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
  • Rustamjon Urinbayev, Lund University

We are preparing an edited volume to be published in the Palgrave - International Political Economy series (series editor Timothy Shaw, University of Boston). This call is part of a multi-annual project that started with a workshop on migration and informality (March 27-28 2018, Lund University) and will continue with a conference possibly in summer 2019. With this book we are also gathering expressions for follow-up initiatives. If interested send an abstract by 30 June 2018 to


Traditionally seen as “exporting” migrants to Western Europe and North America, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, along with the former USSR ones, have recently become important mobility hubs. We start with an understanding of mobility that includes migratory processes to and from these countries. However, and this is the reason we prefer “mobility” to “migration”, we intend to take into account processes that go beyond migratory flows and include, inter alia, consequences of increased mobility for business activities (when mobility of capitals, people, services or items generates revenues, without necessarily resulting from temporary or permanent migrations), or seeking healthcare or other services in places other than your hometown.

We believe that a large share of mobility-related activities generates informality, here defined as activities that happen outside the controlling, or coercing, presence of one or more states, or their institutions. There is a good body of literature dealing with migration, mostly from the region. This volume is, in our view, a way to complement existing literature in at least two ways.

More information

First, initial trends tended to see the region as strategic for outsourcing. However, the improvement of the economic conditions, along with the recent refugee crisis has added a second category of migrants to the region. This has meant that, in addition to the skilled workers, the region has also witnessed an increasing amount of immigration from people with either low qualifications, no legal right to work or stay or simply missing the skills to quickly integrate into local job markets. The issue of legality is only a marginal one. Indeed, the International Organisation for Migrations warns that only 10% of the migrants worldwide are formally illegal, leading us to think that the most important barriers to socio-economic and legal integration are not formal but informal. In this respect, a number of studies have pinpointed at the contrast between the – de jure - existence of norms to deal with migrants against a de facto (partial or total) state incapacity to deal with migration flows and integration of foreign citizens in a number of cases.

Second, in addition to movements of people, the diverse degrees of development across the region (or even within a single country) has generated novel challenges and opportunities. In this respect, mobility can be considered from a number of perspectives, in terms of geographical destinations and workforce demand. Conflicts driven refugee crisis, labour migration, brain-drain and tourism are a few of the forms mobility may take. However, these phenomena are often met by ineffective or incomplete regulations that bring legal and civil codes and rules to be replaced or complemented by other rules and institutions which are practice based and informal (Polese 2016, Turaeva 2014, 2015; Urinboyev and Polese 2016, Williams 2015). In spite of a growing awareness of these issues the body of scholarship dealing with the relationship between mobility and informality, with special reference to the post-socialist region, has remained under-researched.

We thus welcome contributions that can:

1. Provide further empirical evidence on the existence, performance and persistence of informal practices. In particular, we are interested in what informal practices are boosted by the new opportunities provided by increased mobility at the country, region and global level

2. Explore the relationship between mobility patterns and informal practices to consolidate a sub-field of informality studies and contribute to a broader understanding of informal practices in Eastern Europe and the former USSR

Topics examined may include (the list is non-exhaustive):

  • economy and employment, including informal labour and migration-related practices
  • business practices and how they are affected by increased mobility
  • religious practices (informal Mosques, religious healing, religious service)
  • legal issues (documentation, border crossing)
  • medical service and provision (informal health care and clinics)
  • child care and education (informal and home schooling)
  • second generation migrants and social, economic or cultural integration issues