Call for Proposals

You can read the most salient portions of the call for proposals below.

To see the complete version, please download the PDF document to the right.

From Local Voids to Local Goods:
Can Institutions Promote Competitive Advantage?


A new wave of strategy research has incorporated institutional issues in the analysis of strategic management and firm-level performance. The focus of such research stream has invariably taken the form of one or another variant around the central theme, regarding how institutional voids, a term coined by Tarun Khanna and Krishna Palepu, create failures in material input, labor, as well as capital markets. These voids induce firm-level impediments to growth and entrepreneurship, and pose formidable challenges for firm competitiveness, and even industrial development in emerging markets.

Yet, in many countries, governments to various degrees and levels, for better and for worse, have adopted practices that actively try to foster local firms not just with the customary direct subsidies and protection, but also through the provision of public resources, such as investments in infrastructure, the design of specialized industrial policies, as well as educational systems. Concomitantly, firms themselves have been known to pursue collective synergies that individual firms alone would not be able to attain. Such synergies have taken the form of shared investments in communal resources, which bring inimitable scale advantages and capabilities that firms otherwise confined to local markets would hardly have access to. These collective investments however demand the creation of local and mostly indigenous institutional solutions that emerge from the bottom up.

In many cases, therefore, local environments may “promote” rather than “limit” firm growth. Moreover, it is evident that local firms, in their collective, have organizing media that can help them overcome the traditional forms of institutional voids as seen from the developed world perspective. Ultimately, our quest is to gather scholars and practitioners to debate what unique joint features and opportunities lie behind the competitiveness of firms in emerging markets, as they compete in an increasingly globalized world market.

The Conference will include several distinguished academics and practitioners advancing this discussion. In addition, Conference Co-Chairs and Track Chairs will welcome submissions around four sub-themes in conference tracks:

THEME A. Institutions and Local Entrepreneurship

Track Chair: Peter Klein, Baylor University

picture of Peter Klein

Peter Klein

This theme will address the general issue of how institutions help promote the emergence and growth of new ventures. How does the evolution of public institutions, public policy and local regulations affect the path of firms’ capabilities and performance? How do institutions and institutional processes influence the development of competitive firms in multiple regional networks and geographical agglomerations? How do institutional rules and regulations affect the development of new, innovative local industries? How can local entrepreneurship also help address pressing social and environmental needs?

THEME B. Global Competitiveness of Emerging Market Firms and Multinationals

Track Chair: Felipe Monteiro, INSEAD

picture of Felipe Monteiro

Felipe Monteiro

The analysis of the local determinants of global expansion and competitive advantage is the focus of this theme. What types of exclusive organizational resources and capabilities can firms leverage locally to compete globally? What types of and how collective resources and capabilities possessed by various firms regionally can impact these firms’ competitiveness abroad? What unique resources, collective assets, and other public goods confer advantages for emerging market firms abroad? What institutional roles do large multinational subsidiaries play regionally in anchoring or organizing the network structure of the local firms?

THEME C. Governments, Public Policy and Industrial Development

Track Chair: Aldo Musacchio, Brandeis University

picture of Aldo Musacchio

Aldo Musacchio

This theme will address the pros and cons of governmental policies to promote firms and industries. Should governments foster national champions? If so, how would this affect global and local competition? What is the role of state-owned enterprises? Which government programs have given local firms unique sources of advantage? What are the performance implications of non-market strategies? How to curb corruption and distortions associated with dysfunction public-private ties?

THEME D. Competitive Strategy, Organizational and Market Design

Track Chair: Sandro Cabral, Insper Institute of Education and Research

picture of Sandro Cabral

Sandro Cabral

In this theme scholars should discuss how organizations craft strategies, and how the collection of chosen strategies by local firms affects markets, overall innovation, as well as competitive dynamics. What is the role and functioning of diversified business groups in shaping local markets? Are local industries better off to rely on networks of small and medium enterprises? What qualities of public-private partnerships better serve the goal of boosting the competitive advantage of local organizations? How do institutions affect transaction costs and influence the entry and survival of local firms?

Submission Guidelines And Requirements

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Strategic Management Society

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