Organization Management Journal


Until very recently, Ireland was spoken of in very adulatory terms, to the point of being dubbed the “Celtic Tiger.” However, the tiger is no more, having been consumed by a property-led boom, the collapse of which was compounded by the global financial crisis. Taking path dependence as lens, this article looks at an early sequence of events that shaped the country’s path to “tiger hood,” that is, the policy shift from protectionism to outward looking economic development. From relatively contingent and unpredictable beginnings evolved an institutional matrix, with a clear focus on the global, that, ex ante, could not have been predicted when it was first established. While the tiger is no more, the outward looking economic development path nonetheless remains in place, with the export sector proving to be one of the few bright lights in an otherwise bleak situation.