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The moderating effect of institutional context on the relationship between associational activity and new business activity in emerging economies

  • De Clercq, Dirk
  • Danis, Wade M.
  • Dakhli, Mourad
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    Varying institutional environments provide the foundation for a great deal of international business (IB) research yet relatively little empirical work has examined the association between institutional factors and new business development in emerging economies, although the importance of new business development for economic transition and growth is widely acknowledged. Drawing from social network and institutional theories, we address this gap by examining the effect of associational activity on the level of new business activity in emerging economies, and testing the thesis that associational activity becomes more instrumental for new business creation when aspiring entrepreneurs confront higher institutional burdens (i.e., obstacles derived from underdeveloped or absent institutions). On the basis of data from two cross-national research projects--the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and the World Values Survey--we find a positive relationship between a country's associational activity and new business activity; this relationship is stronger for higher regulatory and normative institutional burdens and lower cognitive institutional burdens. This study is among the first to examine empirically the possible substitution effect between social ties and institutions to predict new business activity; it paints a nuanced picture of how social networks might be more instrumental in contexts characterized by weak institutions. We discuss the implications of these findings for IB theory and practice and offer directions for further research in the area.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 85-101

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