Since the beginning of the 21
century, three key business trends have been identified as having a pronounced influence on future microeconomic and macroeconomic developments across the globe (e.g. Prahalad and Lieberthal, 2003, p. 110; Ayios, 2004, p. 21–34; Napier and Thomas, 2004, p. 34; Khanna and Palepu, 2006): Firstly, with the advent of the network economy, inter-organizational relations and structures are increasingly becoming the object of analysis (e.g. Gulati et al., 2000; Ford et al., 2003; Pfeffer and Salancik, 2003). The type and level of inter-organizational structures are potential causes of failure in network organizations, and are thus crucial for a firm’s and its network members’ success. Successful companies have extended the concept of an appropriate organizational structure beyond internal relationships to those spanning across the entire business network by taking the country specific institutional context into consideration (e.g. Schary and Skjott-Larsen, 2003, p 73–106; Cox et al., 2004; Peng and Zhou, 2005). Secondly, with slowing growth in the developed markets and abundant growth opportunities in the developing economies, companies are turning to these markets for new business expansion. Future markets will not only exist in the major developed countries, but also in developing economies like Russia. Finally, during the last number of years, so called ‘emerging giants’, which are strong local players from developing economies (Khanna and Palepu, 2006), have started to globalize and to expand into the developed markets. Among other reasons, these firms have edged themselves into the limelight by maintaining the right ‘fit’ between their strategy type and inter-organizational structures in their home markets.