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Building Political Connexions to Expand Overseas: The Trajectory of a Brazilian Construction Company

The Challenge of Bric Multinationals

ISBN: 978-1-78635-350-4, eISBN: 978-1-78635-349-8

Publication date: 24 November 2016



We examine how home market political connexions can influence internationalisation as the number of foreign subsidiaries and the volume of investment abroad when targeting specific host countries. Our aim is to provide in-depth insights into the relationship between multinational enterprises and home country institutions by presenting a teaching case about a Brazilian construction company operating in more than 20 countries.


We developed a longitudinal study based on the trajectory of Odebrecht, an important Emerging Market Multinational Enterprise, highlighting the relevance of governmental support for its international expansion.


We could reveal that international strategy is constituted not only by internal appraisal (availability of resources) and market factors, but also linked to national political priorities.

Research limitations/implications

We only used secondary data to develop this teaching case. Even though we built the case also using the information available on the company’s website and its annual report, we believe that newspaper articles might provide some bias in the way they were written. Then, we tried to be neutral and just use facts mentioned in the articles to understand the international strategy.


The literature tends to emphasise the role of institutions in international business activities. We contribute to the literature by presenting the benefits and consequences of political connexions for an EMNE’s internationalisation path. Moreover, our study brings light to the need of redefining the firm’s international strategy without taking into account the governmental alignment.



Calixto, C.V. and Gama, M.A.B. (2016), "Building Political Connexions to Expand Overseas: The Trajectory of a Brazilian Construction Company", The Challenge of Bric Multinationals (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 369-391.



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