Adjusting to and learning from institutional diversity: Toward a capability-building perspective

Sarianna M. Lundan*, Jiatao Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper identifies two main dimensions – institutional diversity and dynamism – in the research stream that has substantively engaged with the important contribution of Jackson and Deeg (J Int Bus Stud 39(4):540–561, 2008). Taking into account their core criticism that institutional analysis in international business research is often de-contextualized, and building on these two dimensions, we present two possible paths for institutional analysis that are sensitive to context. The first is a methodological shift towards configurational analyses, and specifically the analysis of counterfactual scenarios that could reveal new information about decision alternatives. The second is a shift away from a focus on costs, and towards the possibility of MNEs building capabilities in an exploratory manner when confronted with institutional diversity. Both approaches build on an understanding of MNEs as strategic actors that co-evolve with their environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • decade award
  • dynamic capabilities
  • institutional change
  • institutional diversity
  • institutional theory
  • qualitative comparative analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Adjusting to and learning from institutional diversity: Toward a capability-building perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this