Dr Gerhard Schnyder is the Director of the Institute for International Management at Loughborough University London. He joined the Institute for International Management from King’s College London in July 2017. Gerhard’s research focusses on the impact of different institutional contexts on organisational practices with a particular focus on the interplay between formal and informal institutions.
Based on a theoretical critique of existing approaches to formal and informal institutions, Gerhard’s research seeks to provide a deeper understanding of how weak formal institutional settings affect firms and what strategies they develop to cope with them.
To shed light on this question, Gerhard investigates business activity in institutional contexts characterised by ‘weak’ formal institutions. One such context is populist or authoritarian regimes that disregard the Rule of Law. Gerhard is currently project leader on the project Populist Backlash, Democratic Backsliding, and the Crisis of the Rule of Law in the European Union (POPBACK) funded by the NORFACE consortium.
The project studies the mechanisms that authoritarian “exclusionary populist” movements use to increase their power by undermining the Rule of Law (RoL) and eroding the divide between the public and private domains in the areas of law, the economy, and the media. We investigate the factors that make states vulnerable or resilient to such strategies and how actors – including business corporations – seek to cope with them.
A second context of weak formal institutions that Gerhard investigates are ‘base of the pyramid’ (BoP) markets in developing countries. Gerhard is involved in field research in Kenya investigating a new generation of BoP strategies and their use of advanced ICT technologies to ‘bank the unbanked.’