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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436
Print version ISSN 1015-8812


KING, David; COLDWELL, David; JOOSUB, Tasneem  and  MCCLELLAND, David. Institutional forces and divestment performance of South African conglomerates: Case study evidence. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. [online]. 2015, vol.18, n.3, pp.338-353. ISSN 2222-3436.

The history of South Africa serves as a natural experiment in how a changing institutional environment impacts corporate structure. Based on institutional theory, we anticipate higher performance through emulating successful strategies or through restructuring consistent with mimetic isomorphism. Conversely, coercive isomorphism results from restructuring driven by regulation, and we anticipate that they are associated with lower performance. To examine these relationships, we consider divestment by South African firms over two periods, using mixed methods. We find tentative support for our predictions, and we outline implications for policymakers, as well as for management research and practice.

Keywords : divestment; institutional theory; coercive and mimetic isomorphism; event analysis; case studies.

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