Scott C. Ensign
BlackBerry in red China: Research In Motion navigates institutional barriers in an emerging market
Ensign, P.C., Robinson, N.P.
published: 2008 | Research publication | Journal Article
Research in Motion’s (RIM’s) entry into the Chinese market during a time when many distractions—principally a patent dispute with NTP—occupied management’s attention was not a foregone conclusion. China remained a difficult market to crack. One holdup was an impasse with regard to RIM’s use of encryption technology and the Chinese authorities’ desire to monitor e-mail traffic and content. Here the technical and political concerns were entangled. To further complicate things, the entirety of RIM had until recently been preoccupied with the legal settlement with NTP in the United States. Issues in this study highlight real-world dilemmas in a thriving firm. The founders are still in charge, and new markets present themselves regularly. A very real challenge is divided attentions. The standstill over market entry calls for integrative thinking—bringing together disparate and contradictory elements for resolution. RIM’s way out will invariably involve embracing complex relationships in order to find a resolution to the various conflicting institutional forces.
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revised Jan 1/08
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