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Institutions and Imprinting in the Formalization of Informal Firms: A Cross-Country Analysis

Informal firms are an important aspect of a country’s economic activity and their decision of whether and when to formalize is based on several country-level aspects related to regulatory, political, and economic aspects, as well as their access to the various resources needed before and during the formalization process. Although informal firms have been receiving more attention from management scholars over the last years, knowledge about the formalization process and the specific country-level aspects that influence informal firms’ strategic choices is still quite limited (Darbi et al., 2016; Godfrey, 2011). In this dissertation, I combine institutional theory (North, 1990) with the imprinting hypothesis introduced into organizational research by Stinchcombe (1965) to explain how three country-level aspects—factor markets, the institutional environment, and bureaucracy—affect the likelihood of formalization of informal firms and how the imprinting effect of economic conditions at the time of founding interact with these country-levels aspects to also affect the likelihood of formalization over time. Using a large sample comprising informal firms in 122 countries, my results suggest that country-level aspects shape the formalization process, and that imprinting, both by itself and combined with these country-level aspects, consistently affect the likelihood of formalization over time. This dissertation, hence, informs research on informal firms and, in particular, the formalization process. Doing so contributes to a better understanding of entrepreneurial processes in general, especially in resource-constrained firms in emerging markets. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Summer Semester 2018. / July 06, 2018. / Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship, Informal Firms, Institutions / Includes bibliographical references. / Bruce T. Lamont, Professor Directing Dissertation; Ashley A. Bush, University Representative; R. Michael Holmes, Jr., Committee Member; Horacio E. Rousseau, Committee Member.
ContributorsGaldino, Katia De Melo (author), Lamont, Bruce T. (professor directing dissertation), Bush, Ashley A. (university representative), Holmes, R. Michael (committee member), Rousseau, Horacio E. (committee member), Florida State University (degree granting institution), College of Business (degree granting college), Department of Management (degree granting departmentdgg)
PublisherFlorida State University
Source SetsFlorida State University
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, text, doctoral thesis
Format1 online resource (116 pages), computer, application/pdf

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