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A measure of Comparative Institutional Distance

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Three varieties of institutionalism currently dominate International Businessstudies: new institutional economics, new organizational institutionalism, andcomparative historical institutionalism. Yet currently applied measures ofinstitutional country distance predominantly build on the thought of the first twostrands of institutionalism. This paper sets out to address this underrepresentationof comparative historical institutional thought in currentlyavailable measures of institutional distance. Building on Whitley’s businesssystems framework, a measure of institutional distance is developed and validatedwhich captures intrinsic, substantive institutional differences in economicorganization, rather than differences in institutional effectiveness. The results ofthe two-stage cluster analysis used to validate the selected indicators closelyapproximate the business systems typology, which is both indicative of the validityof this measure and of the distinctiveness of the business system types that makeup the business system framework.

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Jasper J. Hotho

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