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The Global Professional Service Firm: ‘One Firm’ Models versus (Italian) Distant Institutionalized Practices

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Daniel Muzio


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Through a historical case study of the internationalization of large English law firms into Italy, this paper uses Scott's (2005) three pillars approach to look at how local institutions constrain and mediate the strategies and practices of global professional services firms. In doing so, it corrects the economic bias in the growing body of literature on the internationalization of PSFs by stressing how local regulations, norms and cultural frameworks affect the reproduction of home country practices, such as the one firm model pursued by large English law firms, in host-country jurisdictions. The paper also extends existing work on institutional duality (Kostova, 1999, Kostova & Roth, 2002) by developing a fine-grained, micro-level analysis which emphasizes the connections between institutions and practices. This is crucial, we contend, since the difficulties encountered by PSFs (and multinationals more generally) in their internationalization do not result from collisions between home- and host-country institutional structures per se, but between the diverse practices generated by distant institutional environments.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Muzio D, Faulconbridge J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organization Studies

Year: 2013

Volume: 34

Issue: 7

Pages: 897-925

Print publication date: 03/04/2013

ISSN (print): 0170-8406

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3044

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0170840612470232


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