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By Carla Koen; Kate Mason

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These definitions suggest that informal and normative institutions and culture are alike – that is, they express customs, traditions, values, and so on. In fact, cultural beliefs are seen as central ingredients of institutions (North, 1995: 49). It is very difficult, therefore, to disentangle the impact of informal and normative institutions from that of culture. In this book, we concentrate on formal institutions as these are less complicated to identify and easier for outsiders to understand; they also lend themselves better to comparative analysis.

1992) Globalization: Social Theory and Global Cultures. London: Sage. qxp 10/3/05 8:33 am Page 23 I N T R O D U CT I O N TO T H E A P P R OAC H E S TO C O M PA R AT I V E I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N AG E M E N T 23 Robertson, R. , Lash, S. and Robertson. R. (eds) Global Modernities. London: Sage, 24–44. Robertson, R. (2001) Globalization theory 2000ϩ: major problematics, in Ritzer, G. and Smart, B. (eds) Handbook of Social Theory. London: Sage, 458–71. Rohlen, T. (1974) For Harmony and Strength: Japanese White-collar Organization in Anthropological Perspective.

E. e. e. e. the institutional foundations of the power of the engineering department). What we are most interested in, in this book, is the question of how organizations and industrial sectors are influenced by institutionalized rules and institutional environments. Chapter 4 discusses two European institutional approaches that help us to answer this question – the ‘business systems approach’ and the ‘societal effect’ approach. Most of the empirical literature using these approaches treats institutions as independent variables.

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