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Internationalization of the organizational field: Swedish grocery retailers in the European integration process

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This article describes how import of ideas and practices influence an industry that is in an early stage of internationalization, as well as part of European integration. By using institutional theory, such a situation is depicted as an expansion of the organizational field, in which international isomorphism between organizations has commenced. Studying Swedish grocery retailing, a new set of ideas was found regarding what constitutes an efficient organization. This included centralization, vertical integration and brand management, and it was strongly influenced by foreign actors and markets. We conclude that isomorphism occurs in a decreasingly national field, although not entirely pan-European in character, and that international diffusion of ideas and practices reshape markets, partly independent of goods and capital flows.

Keywords: European integration; grocery retailing; institutional theory; internationalization; organizational field; store concepts

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Umeå School of Business, Umeå University, Sweden

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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