Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 562–588

Institutional exceptions on global projects: a process model


DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400370

Cite this article as:
Orr, R. & Scott, W. J Int Bus Stud (2008) 39: 562. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400370


This inductive study offers an examination of 23 cases in which informants from firms engaged in large-scale global projects reported unforeseen costs after failing to comprehend cognitive-cultural, normative, and/or regulative institutions in an unfamiliar host societal context. The study builds on the conceptual framework of institutional theory. The findings, which include propositions and a generic narrative model, contribute to theoretical knowledge of how institutional exceptions arise, how they are resolved, and how they typically involve three general phases: ignorance, sensemaking, and response. The findings also articulate the kinds of institutional transaction costs that an entrant incurs in each of the three phases, and the conditions that lead to the growth of these costs.


institutional theoryliabilities of foreignnesscross-border investmentsglobal projectsinstitutional exceptionsinstitutional transactions costs

Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects, Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA