Consistent with the literature on organizational boundary spanning (Fennell & Alexander, 1987; Meznar & Nigh, 1995), we group the mechanisms related to the external nonmarket environments into the buffering and bridging activities, which are not mutually exclusive. Firms bridge with the external environment by seeking “to adapt organizational activities so that they conform with external expectations” (Meznar & Nigh, 1995: 976). In contrast, a firm resorts to a buffering strategy to protect itself from the external environment. To this end, the firm is “trying to keep the environment from interfering with internal operations and trying to influence the external environment” (Meznar and Nigh, 1995: 976; italics added). This classification is widely used in the nonmarket literature (Dieleman & Boddewyn, 2012; Zheng et al., 2015).
(Mellahi et al. 2016:150)
Mellahi, K. Frynas, J. Sun, P. and Siegel, D. 2016. A Review of Nonmarket Strategy Literature: Toward a Multi-Theoretical Integration. Journal of Management, Vol. 42, (1), pp.143-713.
Meznar, M. B., & Nigh, D. 1995. Buffer or bridge? Environmental and organizational determinants of public affairs activities in American firms. Academy of Management Journal, 38: 975-996.