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Playing By (or With) New Institutional Rules: Substance, Symbolism, and Good Governance in Brazilian Business Groups

Abstract

While analyzing how and why firms can respond to product market demands has long been a central issue in the strategy literature, recent research suggests the need for a comparable level of attention on how and why firms respond to non-market (i.e., institutional) demands. In this study, we theoretically and empirically analyze how Brazilian corporations responded to dramatic recent changes in their institutional environment. Specifically, using extensive qualitative and quantitative data, we show how the enactment of a new set of corporate governance guidelines by the Brazilian stock market (aimed at reducing longstanding agency problems related to pyramidal group ownership) generated a number of strategic responses by Brazilian firms that suggest improved corporate governance. However, we also find that for numerous firms, the changes observed are more symbolic than substantive.

Type

Working Paper

Author(s)

Susan E. Perkins, Edward Zajac

Date Published

2018

Citations

Perkins, E. Susan, and Edward Zajac. 2018. Playing By (or With) New Institutional Rules: Substance, Symbolism, and Good Governance in Brazilian Business Groups.

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