Workshop Series: Preet Aulakh
Abstract: Drawing from organizational ecology and institutional theories, we examine whether business groups facilitate or constrain affiliate firms' adaptation to institutional transitions emanating from economic and market reforms. Empirical results from a panel of firms from the Indian pharmaceutical industry during the period 1992-2007 support the inertia arguments proposed by these theories. That is, we find that given their founding conditions and embeddedness in past institutional contexts, business group affiliated firms are less likely than independent firms to adapt through exploration of new markets. However, we also uncover important contingencies related to the scope of institutional transitions and within-group dynamics that temper inertial forces prevalent in business groups. In particular, we find that business group affiliation militates against firms' adaptation only when institutional changes are specific to the affiliates' industry, but not when changes are broad-based and impacting the business group as a whole. We also find that amongst affiliated firms, those occupying a prominent position within the group or externally in the industry are able to bargain for and get the necessary business group attention and support for exploratory search.
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Preet Aulakh is Professor of Strategy and International Business and the Pierre Lassonde Chair in International Business at the Schulich School of Business, York University. He also serves as the Director of the Schulich Ph.D. program. He received his PhD in Business from the University of Texas at Austin, and got B.S. (Mathematics) and M.A. (History) degrees from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. His research focuses on three broad areas: the interactions of governance structures and relational dynamics in improving performance of dyadic as well as portfolio of firms' international alliances; international technology licensing with particular emphasis on studying the motivations behind using licensing as a foreign entry strategy, structuring of licensing contracts, and effective ways to transfer knowledge in licensing partnerships; and much of his recent research focus is to understand the internationalization of firms from emerging economies. Within the geographical contexts of India, China, and Latin America, his research explores how firm and institutional factors influence the extent and diverse paths of organic and inorganic growth of organizations from these countries. His research on these topics has been published in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Marketing, Journal of International Business Studies, Organization Science, Journal of International Management, Journal of World Business, Journal of Management Studies, Academy of Marketing Science Journal, among others. He is the past editor of Journal of International Management and currently the consulting editor of Journal of International Business Studies.