The thick description and comparison of societal systems of capitalism
Critiques of international business theory have recently pointed to weaknesses in the handling of context, of culture, and of policy implications. It is contended that the origins of such failings lie in the discipline's commonly accepted methodologies, and in turn that they have epistemological roots. As a route out of the dilemmas faced, a proposal is made to adopt more complete ways of handling determinacy, including the influences of history, culture, and the societal emergence of institutions. Business systems theory is drawn upon and a model proposed, developed from the work of Whitley. In this, culture is seen as underpinning formal institutions, which in turn underpin societal business systems. The use of the model relies on the ideas of Geertz on ‘thick description’ and of Ragin on holistic analysis. It is illustrated with a comparison of the American and French socio-economic systems, seen historically. Findings in strategy research about the geographically defined nature of firm supremacy in many industries are brought into the account, using the business systems literature. Consistent patterns of determinacy, as well as distinct and contrasting trajectories of business system evolution, are noted. A more complete and multidisciplinary form of explanation, grounded in socio-economics, is advocated as a means of meeting the challenges both of understanding and of policymaking at several levels. Journal of International Business Studies (2005) 36, 123–155. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400129
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 36 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK|
Web: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/pal/subscribe/index.html Email:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:36:y:2005:i:2:p:123-155. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Daniel Foley)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.