This theory testing paper compares and analyzes the internationalization process of two Mexican family-owned firms: Xignux and Grupo Alfa. This paper is intended to offer a theoretical understanding using existing frameworks such as OLI (ownership, location and internationalization), LLL (linkage, leverage and learning) and the Uppsala model. Furthermore, it tests whether the theoretical framework of organizational capabilities and international ventures fits the internationalization of these companies.
This paper is based on case study methodology using the companies’ publically available data. Both within-case and cross-case analysis were carried out to identify specific traits in the internationalization pattern of both firms; cases were also compared with literature to identify conflicts and similarities that enable a better understanding of the phenomenon.
It was found that not a single theory fully and satisfactorily explains the internationalization of both Xignux and Alfa, instead, issues like internationalization into low psychic distance countries, establishment of strategic alliances and the exploitation of locational-specific advantages contributed in the international expansion of the studied companies.
There is an increasing amount of available literature regarding internationalization strategies and internationalization theories applied to developing and emerging country firms. However, most of the studies analyze companies from Asia, and there are limited studies on multilatinas (i.e. Latin American multinationals). Furthermore, scholars in the field of international business are still debating whether the existing theories, or an adaptation of them, explain the internationalization of multilatinas.
Velez-Ocampo, J., Govindan, K. and Gonzalez-Perez, M.A. (2017), "Internationalization of Mexican family firms: the cases of Xignux and Grupo Alfa", Review of International Business and Strategy, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 180-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/RIBS-10-2016-0058
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