Strategy and Structure in Context: Universalism versus Institutional Effects Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2009

start page

  • 609

end page

  • 627


  • 30

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0170-8406

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-3044


  • Indexada en JCR Social Sciences Edition: Índice de impacto 2009: 2.124 Posición que ocupa la revista en la categoría management: 27 de 112This study analyses the evolution in large firms' strategy and structure in a new spatial and temporal context (Spain 1993—2003). The central question of this work is to determine whether transformations undergone in this country have led Spanish companies' strategies and structures to converge with those of other European countries, following the predictions of `universalistic' theories of strategy and organization; or whether cultural/institutional effects have remained strong, following a path-dependence/cultural-lag type logic. The Spanish experience is particularly significant for theory in general because its late development and very distinctive institutional origins allow us to test theories applied before in a new country and more recent time period. Our findings show that a changing context (e.g. liberalization) has led Spanish firms to converge with those of other European economies in the pattern of strategy and structure (increasing levels of diversification and divisionalization). Thus, the findings of this study in a new context are consistent with universalistic predictions that strategies and structures will evolve towards a common model of corporate development, as Chandler postulated initially.