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Springing from where? How emerging market firms become multinational enterprises

Jean-François Hennart (Department of Management, Tilburg School of Economics and Management, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands) (Politecnico di Milano Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale, Milano, Italy)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 16 July 2018




The purpose of this paper is to show that existing theories, principally Dunning’s OLI model, Mathews LLL model and Rugman’s version of internalization theory are unable to explain the rise of emerging market multinationals (EMNEs). The reason is that they over-emphasize the strategic importance of intangibles and ignore that of complementary local assets. Taking complementary local assets into account makes it possible to understand why EMNEs are able to finance their intangible-buying sprees and, often with the help of their governments, to swap market access for technology.


This is a conceptual paper based on the bundling model (JIBS 2009) and backed by the case histories of four EMNEs.


The author shows that EMNEs have much better prospects vis-à-vis established MNEs than generally thought in Western Europe and the USA and that they will become serious competitors.


This is, as far as the author knows, the first explanation of why EMNEs have the bargaining power and the resources necessary to swap or buy technology from established MNEs.



Hennart, J.-F. (2018), "Springing from where? How emerging market firms become multinational enterprises", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 568-585.



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