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Theoretical foundations of antecedents of internationalization and moderators in multinationality–performance relationship: What is missing?

Anish Purkayastha (Discipline of International Business, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Sunil Sharma (Department of Business Policy, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India)
Amit Karna (Department of Business Policy, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 9 March 2020

Issue publication date: 30 June 2020

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors undertake a systematic analysis of multinationality–performance (M-P) literature published in the last decade, when antecedents for internationalization and moderators of the M-P relationship had attained a center stage in international business and international management research. Though M-P relationship is one of the most widely studied topics within international business literature, so far synthesis of the entire theoretical landscape is missing in extant literature.

Design/methodology/approach

Through keywords search process, the authors found 111 studies in management literature that look at internationalization, its antecedents, performance of internationalized firms, and moderators of the M-P relationship. The focus of this study is to identify theoretical foundations used to explain the antecedents and moderators in M-P relationship, in order to suggest the future research direction for the field. The authors classify the antecedents and moderators based on their theoretical underpinnings not only to identify commonly used theoretical foundations in the last 10 years of international strategy research but also to highlight potential areas for future research.

Findings

The authors’ analysis indicates that research on international strategy in the last decade was dominated by theory testing in the context of developed economies. The authors’ review suggests that majority of the antecedents and moderators in the M-P relationship are anchored within institutional theory, organizational structure, resource-based view, social capital, and upper echelon theory.

Originality/value

The authors’ findings are indicative of a rich research potential of M-P relationship in the contextual research setting of emerging markets while leveraging more diversified theoretical bases and multiple levels of research design.

Keywords

Citation

Purkayastha, A., Sharma, S. and Karna, A. (2020), "Theoretical foundations of antecedents of internationalization and moderators in multinationality–performance relationship: What is missing?", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 213-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-03-2019-0055

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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