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Multinationals, Institutions and Agency: A study of the Russian Pharmaceutical Sector

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dimitry Jacob


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It has been previously acknowledged that multinational corporations (MNCs) are powerful actors that possess and leverage human resources, capital, technology and knowledge across national boundaries for corporate advantage. Despite the promise of this analytical context, understanding of the work of agency by MNCs remains limited. This thesis therefore aims to understand the work of agency in producing institutional change within a host market setting. To do so, a study of the Russian pharmaceutical sector is undertaken and it draws upon 107 interviews with 46 managers representing 26 pharmaceutical MNCs, 4 heads of associations of pharmaceutical manufacturers and 2 independent Pharma experts. This thesis frames agency as ontologically temporal, whereby actors express different capacity for agency and engage institutions differently when their actions relate to past, future, or present time. The findings also show that the participation and contribution of multiple actors is required in order to enact change. This agentic work becomes evident first, as a multi-profile phenomenon whereby social action is denoted by the inter-permeation between micro (organisational) and meso (inter- organisational) linked efforts. Second, as the internal composition of agency comprising embedded processes of re-orientation towards past, future or present times, re-formulation of iterative, projective and practical - evaluative expression of action, and re-engagement of institutions with efforts to maintain, to create and/or to disrupt national institutions. Finally, agency is manifested in linking mechanisms working across micro- and meso-levels of agency to produce institutional change. The overall findings lead to elaboration of instantiation of multinational agency through multiple instances of agency that assume different levels of intent, self-interest and capacity for action. As such, this thesis contributes to the literature on inter-relations between institutions and agency and specifically, advances the literature on micro-foundational institutionalism.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jacob D

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Doctoral thesis

Year: 2017

Print publication date: 10/01/2018

Online publication date: 10/01/2018

Acceptance date: 09/06/2017

Publisher: Queens University Belfast

Place Published: Belfast, Northern Ireland


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 0000 0004 6424 5947