Institutional duality incidence on subsidiaries: configuration, differentiation and avoidance strategies

Akiebe Humphrey Ahworegba*, Christophe Estay, Myropi Garri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose – To illustrate how threats of institutional duality (ID) incidence subsidiaries confront are converted to opportunities, by conceptualizing how subsidiaries attain operational legitimacy at both their headquarters (HQs) and host countries.

Design/methodology/approach – Using a systematic literature review, the authors build on institutional theories by analyzing the ID literature along its structure, main processes and outcomes. The authors configure frameworks of both HQ control systems and host countries’ institutional threats, showing how subsidiaries contingently navigate across them using configuration, differentiation and avoidance strategies.

Findings – The authors’ findings show that “foresighted” subsidiaries attain operational legitimacy through configuration, differentiation and avoidance of threats incidental to ID, by strategizing along certain formal and informal institutional variables including legal, sociocultural and technical factors.

Originality/value – The authors propose “structural configuration of ID incidence” and “subsidiary path to legitimacy” frameworks. The former configures how the interaction between HQ and host countries’ variables constitute ID incidence threats. The latter highlights how “foresighted” subsidiaries use configuration, differentiation and avoidance strategies to attain operational legitimacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1499-1511
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number7
Early online date15 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Subsidiaries
  • Configuration
  • Differentiation
  • Avoidance
  • Operational legitimacy
  • Institutional duality


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