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Global networks as a mode of balance for exploratory innovations in a late liberalizing economy

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This article suggests that under weak institutional arrangements, adverse economic conditions, and institutional voids in a late liberalizing economy, local firms that are part of the global value chains of multinational enterprises develop international networks as a balancing strategy to engage in exploratory innovations. We argue that local firms do so in order to counter the negative influences of local institutions on exploratory innovations. Using exploratory in-depth qualitative analysis, we study the suppliers of motorcycle parts in Pakistan that are working with leading Japanese and Chinese motorcycle assemblers. The results suggest that in adverse economic situations local institutional factors can sustain only the development of exploitative innovations. As a balancing strategy, motorcycle part suppliers develop international networks with global Tier 1 suppliers, international trade fairs, and international institutions. This strategy helps circumvent the negative influence of home institutional factors on developing exploratory innovations. Our study highlights the importance of global networks as a balancing strategy for creating exploratory innovations by firms in a late liberalizing economy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Khan Z, Rao-Nicholson R, Tarba S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of World Business

Year: 2018

Volume: 53

Issue: 3

Pages: 392-402

Print publication date: 01/04/2018

Online publication date: 17/10/2016

Acceptance date: 07/10/2016

Date deposited: 07/01/2017

ISSN (print): 1090-9516

ISSN (electronic): 1878-5573

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2016.10.002


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