Sub-theme 32:

The Challenges of Organizing in Emerging Economies

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M. Lourdes Sosa, London Business School, UK

Myrna Flores, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Anita McGahan, University of Toronto

Call for Papers

Emerging economies represent settings where ideas for a radically new paradigm for organizing may come to light as academics and practitioners are compelled to innovate organizationally.

In this sub-theme we hope to discuss research and theory that focuses on innovative ways of organizing in emerging economies, including new ways of communicating, controlling and creating resources. Given that to date most theories of organizing come from data collected in developed countries, we believe emerging economies represent an untapped and fruitful source of distinct data for empirical analysis as well as theoretical insight. Classic theories have been extended in light of the particular dynamics of emerging economies (Abernathy & Utterback, 1978; Kim, 1997). The underlying dynamics of emerging economies have also led scholars to uncover unexpected consequences to policy changes designed with a developed-country perspective (Kyle & McGahan, 2008).

Keeping in mind that this setting can illuminate a variety of topics on organizations, we welcome empirical papers at any level of analysis as well as theoretical papers. Likewise, we welcome all methodologies: from qualitative work and single-site studies to quantitative analysis and simulation. Examples of appropriate papers include, within the context of emerging economies:

  • How innovation and/or entrepreneurship takes place
  • The contrasting features of mergers, acquisitions, alliances and other interorganizational arrangements with collaborating parties from developing and developed countries
  • The contrast between developed and developing countries in intellectual property protection systems, university systems, unions and other features in human resource management
  • Trends in regional clustering and knowledge spillovers
  • Analyses of industry change and evolution

By using different approaches and emerging economies as a source of insight, we seek to explore how current theories shed light on radical organizational innovation and to identify avenues for developing existing theories.


Abernathy, W. & J.M. Utterback (1978): "Patterns of Industrial Innovation." Technology Review, 80 (7), 40-47.
Kim, L. (1997): Imitation to Innovation: The Dynamics of Korea's Technological Learning. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Kyle, M. & A. McGahan (2008): Investments in Pharmaceuticals Before and After TRIPS. Paper presented at the 25th DRUID Conference. Available at:


M. Lourdes Sosa?is Assistant Professor in Strategic and International Management at the London Business School. Her research focuses on technological change with particular interest on the impact of biotechnology on incumbents' R&D capabilities. She is currently expanding to the study of pharmaceuticals in emerging countries such as Mexico.

Myrna Flores?is a Research Fellow in Management of Technology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. She studies innovation and entrepreneurship with an emphasis on emerging economies, particularly in India and Mexico. She is currently collaborating in the LeanPPD project funded by the European Union.

Anita McGahan?is Professor at Rotman School of Management and the Munk School for Public Affairs at the University of Toronto, as well as Chief Economist at the Division of Global Health and Human Rights, Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Senior Institute Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School. Her research deals with the emergence of industries. McGahan is currently an Associate Editor at the Strategic Management Journal and Management Science, on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Review, and a founding editorial board member of Strategic Organization.

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