Purpose: In response to the tilted emphasis on the corporate political activities and to the recent call for including the institutional perspective in the research of the MNE’s governmental relations (MGRs), this study aims to, departing from resource dependence theory, introduce the legitimacy formation as a bridging mechanism to MGRs to holistically examine the behavioral types of antecedents of MGRs in contingency with three critical contextual influences. Design/methodology/approach: This study purposely chose a Taiwanese globalized logistic corporation that we have been acquainted with as the entry for collecting data. The study started the survey with the seven foreign subsidiaries of this logistic corporation and invited their customers through their personal referrals to join this survey. Following the snowball sampling, remarks were added in the questionnaire to request respondents’ assistance in inviting TMT members of different MNE subsidiaries in their personal networks to join the survey. Findings: The findings from analyzing a survey data set of 155 MNE subsidiaries during 2016 show that the MNE’s economically-good behaviors are not so influential as Milton Friedman stated in 1962, and can only outperform socially-good and politically-good behaviors in shaping better MGRs under some specific contextual influences. Originality/value: This study contributes to the international business literature by shedding new light on the sensitivity of behavioral antecedents of MGRs in contingency with contextual influences and provides managerial implications to MNE particularly when they expect to reduce external uncertainties or capturing opportunities by MGRs.
- Behavioral antecedents
- Resource dependence theory