Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 20–35 | Cite as

The dubious role of institutions in international business: A road forward

  • Ruth V. AguileraEmail author
  • Birgitte Grøgaard


Our commentary returns to the conundrum of how institutions matter in international business (IB) by revisiting the 2018 JIBS Decade Award article by Jackson and Deeg (2008) on Comparing Capitalisms. We first synthesize their main insights around institutional diversity and track its significant impact within IB and other management fields. We then suggest three main takeaways that could move Jackson and Deeg’s agenda further in terms of developing a more nuanced approach to institutions in IB. We close with suggestions for future research and urge IB scholars to be more cautious when drawing on different strands of institutions theory.


institutions comparative capitalism institutional change Decade Award 



We thank Editor-in-Chief Alain Verbeke and the two reviewers for their constructive comments. We also thank Laura Albareda, Aya Chacar, Stav Fainshmidt, Ricardo Flores, Valentina Marano, Chris Marquis, Andy Spicer, and Michael Witt, for early discussions on this essay as well as their friendly and constructive  peer reviews.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Business and Strategy, D’Amore-McKim School of BusinessNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.ESADE Business SchoolRamon Llull UniversityBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Strategy and EntrepreneurshipBI Norwegian Business SchoolOsloNorway

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