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Mapping the institutional capital of high-tech firms: A fuzzy-set analysis of capitalist variety and export performance


Author Info

  • Martin R Schneider

    ([1] University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany[2] Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Community, Trier, Germany)

  • Conrad Schulze-Bentrop

    (University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany)

  • Mihai Paunescu

    (SAS Institute Austria, Vienna, Austria)

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    We examine how institutional configurations, not single institutions, provide companies with institutional capital. Building on the varieties-of-capitalism approach, it is argued that competitive advantage in high-tech industries with radical innovation may be supported by combinations of certain institutional conditions: lax employment protection, weak collective bargaining coverage, extensive university training, little occupational training, and a large stock market. Furthermore, multinational enterprises engage in “institutional arbitrage”: they allocate their activities so as to benefit from available institutional capital. These hypotheses are tested on country-level data for 19 OECD economies in the period 1990 to 2003. A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis yields several interesting findings. A high share of university graduates and a large stock market are complementary institutions leading to strong export performance in high-tech. Employment protection is neither conducive nor harmful to export performance in high-tech. A high volume of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, as a form of institutional arbitrage leading to knowledge flows, acts as a functional equivalent to institutions that support knowledge production in the home economy. Implications of these findings for theory, policy, and the analysis of firm-level behavior are developed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 246-266

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    Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:41:y:2010:i:2:p:246-266

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    Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK

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    Cited by:
    1. Silvia Teuber & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2012. "How do companies adjust their organization to national institutions: evidence from matched-pair engineering companies," Economics of Education Working Paper Series, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) 0082, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Apr 2013.


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