Institutional strategies and divergence
: international oil and gas companies in Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean

  • Dr. Andreas Tornaritis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

This thesis addresses theoretical gaps in the institutional theory, international business and strategy literatures. Specifically, this thesis addresses how different degrees of institutional development in a host environment at different levels affect the operations of multi-national enterprises (MNEs) and how MNEs as active agents utilise institutional strategies to address the different degrees of institutional development and their effects. The thesis explores how developed MNEs operating in countries with similar institutional development to that of their home country are affected by the lack of institutional development of the host country, industry and supra-national region, as well as how they have strategically responded to the lack of institutional development at the different levels. It also explores how developed MNEs are affected in countries which lack institutional development but where the industry is institutionally developed, and their strategic responses to it. The thesis explores developed-country-based international oil companies (IOCs) which operate in developed economies and democracies – Cyprus and Israel – but which have institutionally developing natural gas industries, and in the Eastern Mediterranean, a supra-national region which lacks institutional development, as well as IOCs operating in a developing country, Egypt, where the natural gas industry is institutionally developed. The findings show that MNEs have experienced severe hazards, risks and uncertainties (HRUs) in institutionally and culturally proximate countries as a result of the lack of institutional development at the industry and the supra-national levels, and that they have utilised interdependent culture-bridging, relational and infrastructure-building strategies to address the lack of institutional development and its effects at the different levels in the host environment. One finding of particular interest is that MNEs actively pursue culture-bridging, relational and infrastructure-building strategies at the supra-national and industry levels when there is an absence of institutional development. In addition, the findings show the MNEs operating in a developing country but in an institutionally developed industry have experienced HRUs emerging from the country, but the industry’s robust institutions absorbed the effect of the HRUs.
Date of Award21 Jan 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorJeffrey Henderson (Supervisor) & Adam Dixon (Supervisor)

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