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Keywords:

  • institutions;
  • imprinting;
  • transition economies;
  • aspirations

Abstract

Northian institutional theory argues that firms adapt to their current institutional environments. Organizational imprinting theory argues that firms will be constrained by their founding institutional environments. We explore the combined influence of these two institutional environments on the strength of competitive aspirations using a unique dataset of firms in the shifted institutional environment of Central European transition economies. Our results indicate founding institutional environments temper adaptation to current institutional environments for certain competitive aspirations and this effect increases as the size of the shift between current and founding institutional environments increases. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.