A hybrid model of Mediterranean capitalism with British influences: the case of Cyprus

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    This paper describes and analyses economic organization patterns in a former British colony, Cyprus, with the aim of discussing colonial influences on its institutions and business system and presenting a hybrid type of Mediterranean capitalism that is not included in existing literature on the topic. By reviewing relevant archive material, interviewing key people in institutional positions and sixteen firms of the banking, tourism, construction and retailing sectors in Cyprus, and by comparing features of the Cyprus institutional environment with those in Greece, the impact of the British colonial rule on the legal, financial and education systems, industrial and authority relations in Cyprus is discussed and linked to ownership of firms and relations between managers and employees. The results indicate that the colonial experience has transformed the legal system in Cyprus and has influenced aspects of the development of the education and financial systems, as well as authority and industrial relations. This has contributed, firstly, to the creation of a considerably different institutional environment in Cyprus compared to countries that were never colonized, and secondly, has led to diversity in its business system including the development of organizations with fragmented ownership structures and less authoritarian relationships. Possible connections between this modified institutional environment and economic performance are also briefly discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)318-343
    Number of pages26
    JournalManagement and Organizational History
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2016


    • British
    • business systems
    • colonialism
    • Cyprus
    • Economic organization
    • hybrid
    • institutions
    • Mediterranean capitalism


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