Navigating competing institutional logics in a developing economy

Woldesenbet Beta, Kassa and Storey, John (2019). Navigating competing institutional logics in a developing economy. Africa Journal of Management, 5(1) pp. 24–46.



This paper examines how senior managers in a developing economy, Ethiopia, navigate between, and draw upon, the competing logics of ‘state’ and ‘market’ when seeking to explain their firms’ business strategies. This fault-line is especially critical in such contexts. The empirical work is based on qualitative analysis of interviews with 22 senior managers in matched-paired case studies drawn from a state-owned bank and private sector bank respectively, supplemented with secondary sources. The study reveals how top teams develop shared dominant logics which are patterned in a manner which reveals that the degree of state-dependency was the critical variable and that market was a subsidiary variable. By extending management dominant logic literature into the literature on institutional logics, the study reveals the complementarity of these logics and their consequences for the strategic orientations of firms.

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