Institutional forces and divestment performance of South African conglomerates: Case study evidence
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences
College of Business, Iowa State University, South Africa; School of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; School of Accountancy, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; School of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
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. © 2015 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved.