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The Internationalization of Russian Mobile Telecommunications Operators

Emerging Market Firms in the Global Economy

ISBN: 978-1-78441-066-7, eISBN: 978-1-78441-065-0

Publication date: 11 November 2014



This study addresses foreign markets selection decisions by Russian mobile telecommunications operators and the impact of top management team composition on the degree of firms’ internationalization.


The qualitative exploratory study analyzed 24 foreign market entry decisions and the composition of the top management team of the two leading Russian mobile telecommunications operators, VimpelCom and Mobile Telesystems (MTS/AFK Sistema).


Russian mobile telecommunications operators adopted a gradual approach to foreign market selection, as the study revealed the positive impact of the target market’s geographic proximity to Russia on the investment decision. The international background of the top management team was positively related to the increasing distance of the selected foreign markets.

Research limitations/implications

Further studies may include quantitative evaluation of investment decisions by mobile telecommunications operators from other emerging-market firms, as well as a longer observation period and investment decisions by firms operating in other industries.

Practical implications

Russian and other emerging-market firms should evaluate the importance of the top management team composition and international experience prior to initiation of the internationalization process.


Russian multinationals represent a relatively understudied phenomenon, despite the importance of outward foreign direct investments from Russia among other emerging-market firms.



Annushkina, O.E. (2014), "The Internationalization of Russian Mobile Telecommunications Operators", Emerging Market Firms in the Global Economy (International Finance Review, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 121-144.



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