Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 600–621 | Cite as

Probing theoretically into Central and Eastern Europe: transactions, resources, and institutions

  • Klaus E MeyerEmail author
  • Mike W Peng


Since the 1990s, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has provided unique societal quasi-experiments, which represent opportunities to test the applicability of existing theories in international business and management studies and to develop new ones. Specifically, three lines of theorising have been advanced: (1) organisational economics theories; (2) resource-based theories; and (3) institutional theories. For each of these theories, we discuss how they contribute to the understanding of key issues, such as entry strategies of foreign investors, restructuring strategies of local incumbents, and entry and growth strategies of entrepreneurs. On this basis, we assess how CEE research has influenced the overall trajectories of theory development. CEE research has in particular highlighted the importance of contextual influences such as institutions. Thus, scholars have aimed at incorporating institutions into theories (such as organisational economics theories and resource based theories) and advancing an institution-based view of business strategy as a complementary perspective. We outline how future research in CEE and other emerging economies may advance this research agenda further.


international business theory Central and Eastern Europe transaction cost theory resource-based theory institutional theory 



Meyer thanks support from the Centre for East European Studies at Copenhagen Business School and the Danish Social Science Foundation (Project No. 24-01-0152). Peng acknowledges funding from the Ohio State University's Centre for Slavic and East European Studies and Center for International Business Education and Research as well as the National Science Foundation (CAREER Grant SES 0238820, formerly known as a Young Investigator Award). Earlier versions were presented at the Academy of International Business meeting in Puerto Rico (2002), Henley Management College (2004), and the University of Nottingham (2004). We thank conference and seminar participants, JIBS reviewers, Arnold Schuh, Brian Silverman (editor), Klaus Uhlenbruck, and Mike Wright for helpful comments and discussions, and Jana Penzes, Yen Thi Thu Tran, Yuanyuan Zhou, and David Zhu for excellent research assistance. All views expressed are ours and not necessarily those of the funding organisations.


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© Academy of International Business 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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