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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2020

Michel Hermans and Armando Borda Reyes

This study aims to draw researchers’ attention to the need to differentiate within the emerging market multinational companies (EMNCs) category. This study focuses on…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to draw researchers’ attention to the need to differentiate within the emerging market multinational companies (EMNCs) category. This study focuses on international business in Latin America to argue that the region’s specific institutional characteristics have consequences for within-firm decision-making regarding internationalization strategies. Additionally, the study suggests that to develop a more specific understanding of international business in emerging markets, it is important to consider how decision-makers define value and how they can capture such value.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach used in this study draws on the bathtub analogy used in micro-foundations research in international business. It proposes a multilevel analysis in which micro-level variation in within-firm decision-making is considered, while accounting for the conditioning effects of macro-level contextual factors.

Findings

The study identifies characteristics of the Latin American institutional context that are relevant to international business strategies and that potentially differ from other emerging market contexts. These include the pendular shifts to and from pro-market economic reform, fragmented government intervention in business, underdeveloped capital markets, low competition among firms and polarized labor markets. The study explains how these characteristics shape the definition of value and firm strategies to capture value in international markets, and provides examples from firms in different industries.

Originality/value

This study applies a value creation and capture perspective to international business in Latin America, allowing for the simultaneous consideration of macrolevel institutional characteristics and microlevel variation in decision-making regarding internationalization strategies. This perspective not only helps to distinguish Latin American EMNCs from companies from other emerging market contexts, but also explains the considerable variation in the internationalization strategies of firms within the region.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2019

Armando Borda Reyes, William Newburry, Jorge Carneiro and Carlos Cordova

This paper aims to use Latin America as a laboratory to better understand the relationship between inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) and outward foreign direct…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use Latin America as a laboratory to better understand the relationship between inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) and outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) (both in total as well as in regional flows) and also examine the moderating effect of trade openness on that relationship. Latin America is an ideal study context for this purpose because of the relative homogeneity of its countries, which reduces confounding effects and increases comparability.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses longitudinal panel regression models with moderation effects. Secondary data were gathered on IFDI (per country and per country-sector), OFDI (total per country and region-targeted per country) and on trade openness from 11 Latin American countries.

Findings

IFDI in natural resources is positively associated with OFDI in both overall total flows and regional flows. The effect of IFDI in manufacturing has a consistent negative effect on total OFDI. IFDI in services has positive effects on total OFDI. Additionally, trade openness moderates positively the relationship between total IFDI and both total OFDI and regional OFDI. As a consequence, the authors found evidence suggesting that the relation between IFDI and OFDI in Latin America is positively moderated by trade openness.

Originality/value

The authors explored the nature of the impact of IFDI on the capacity of the recipient country to compete abroad as expressed by its OFDI flows. Specifically, they elucidated whether trade openness can be considered a suitable mechanism for home country firms to leverage potential spillovers provided by foreign entrants.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, Jorge Carneiro, Diego Finchelstein, Patricio Duran, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, Miguel A. Montoya, Armando Borda Reyes, Maria Tereza Leme Fleury and William Newburry

This paper aims to analyze how emerging market firms upgrade their capabilities by focusing on “uncommoditizing strategies” that enable them to achieve levels of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze how emerging market firms upgrade their capabilities by focusing on “uncommoditizing strategies” that enable them to achieve levels of international competitiveness beyond the comparative advantages of their home countries and serve markets with premium pricing, quality and reputation of products.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors studied 18 Latin American companies across six countries. Latin America represents an ideal setting because many of these countries have traditionally developed using natural resource endowments, and their firms have tended to rely on these in their internationalization. To facilitate the analysis of each case and the comparisons across cases, the authors used the same analytical framework for the companies, identifying the sources of differentiation and cost efficiency strategies that enabled these firms to upgrade their capabilities and compete on the basis of premium pricing, quality and reputation.

Findings

The analysis identified a general framework that represents an abstraction of the actions taken by these companies over time. The proposed model consists of three main elements used to pursue uncommoditizing strategies: tropicalized innovation, global efficiency and coordinated control.

Originality/value

Recent research on emerging market firms has shown interest in how these firms upgrade their capabilities. This paper contributes to this stream of research by providing an overarching framework that not only bridged previous narrower studies but also explained how firms can develop uncommoditizing strategies to upgrade their capabilities. Further, this paper helps managers by providing a comprehensive yet succinct overview of the main strategies that they can use to help their firms to achieve international competitiveness.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2019

Clarice Secches Kogut, Renato Dourado Cotta de Mello and Angela da Rocha

Starting from the knowledge-based view as a theoretical perspective, this study aims to examine how an emerging market multinational enterprise (EMMNE) engages in reverse…

Abstract

Purpose

Starting from the knowledge-based view as a theoretical perspective, this study aims to examine how an emerging market multinational enterprise (EMMNE) engages in reverse knowledge transfer (RKT) processes and how such processes are managed by headquarters. Therefore, this paper captures the perspective of top management concerning RKT and the processes used to create, transfer and integrate knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a longitudinal design based on the case method of investigation. The case selected for the study was a Brazilian company theoretically sampled for being a domestically, regionally and globally important, information-rich company that operates in an industry in which technology plays a crucial role. The company was also selected for having had asset-seeking motives in at least some of its foreign market entries and for having successfully absorbed foreign-acquired capabilities.

Findings

The study provides counterfactual evidence to the springboard perspective, considering timing and speed of the internationalization and catch-up processes and the size of acquisitions. The study also highlights differences to other emerging market multinational enterprises, concerning the internationalization trajectory and catch-up moves, and to traditional MNEs, regarding RKT challenges and practices.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of the study relate to the case study method, which does not allow for statistical generalization, although it does support analytical generalization.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature by shedding light on the process by which a Latin American multinational firm developed technological capabilities to compete globally, focusing on the symbiotic, self-nurturing relationship between internationalization processes and technology acquisition and integration processes. Moreover, the work provides novel theoretical insights regarding timing, location, size and execution of the RKT activities. Finally, the paper contributes to the understanding of the relational aspects of the RKT process by focusing on building human relationships as the major force behind knowledge integration and examining the resistance of the acquired companies from developed markets to adopt the parent company’s best practices, or to contribute to its integrated knowledge, when the parent company is an EMMNE.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2019

Francisco Puig, Anoop Madhok and Zhi Shen

This paper aims to analyse which firm-level characteristics drive their location decisions when investing in a foreign country. Focusing on origin clusters, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse which firm-level characteristics drive their location decisions when investing in a foreign country. Focusing on origin clusters, the authors will study the potential influence of the home country context and, in particular, the impact of firm-level factors, both investor- and investment-related, underlying heterogeneity in their location choice decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis draws on data gathered from mainland Chinese MNEs that have invested in Germany between 2005 and 2013 (269 firms). The authors chose a single host (Germany) and a single home (China) country for their representativeness and for methodological reasons to control for country effects. The authors used a multinomial logit model to assess the effects of the independent variables on the probability that each of the three location possibilities would be selected.

Findings

The results suggest that investors preferring co-location in origin clusters have distinct structural and strategic characteristics. From a more structural point of view, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) undertaken by smaller firms and those without prior experience in the EU prefer an area where there are other Chinese investors. From a more strategic perspective, these FDI flows are more likely to tap into industry agglomerations when the investors’ objective is strategic asset seeking, and they have less knowledge-intensive investments.

Practical implications

The findings may be of great practical value to practitioners and policymakers. Knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the types of agglomeration networks can help managers to balance the rewards and risks in their decision-making and to select a suitable development path for their FDIs. For policymakers, an understanding of the structure and formation of different groups of firms in one location and the characteristics of investors who may enter the location can help them to improve their regulatory work and to develop policies to attract investments, thereby enhancing local economic development and community stability.

Originality/value

The research shifts the emphasis of the location choice decision beyond just where to locate toward with whom to collocate. It also contributes to the growing research on emerging market multinationals by providing further insight into understanding of FDI location behavior by firms from emerging economies.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2019

Angelo Cavallo, Antonio Ghezzi and Bertha Viviana Ruales Guzmán

This paper aims to investigate how a firm may innovate its business model to internationalize.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how a firm may innovate its business model to internationalize.

Design/methodology/approach

Owing to its novelty and to the depth of the investigation required to grasp the mechanisms and logics of business model innovation aiming at internationalization, a single case study has been performed related to a company located in North-Western Colombia.

Findings

The study provides detailed empirical evidences over the mutual connection and complementarities among value mechanisms of business models. Moreover, this study suggests that BMI fosters internationalization to scale, which, in turn, will require additional changes to match new customer needs as they emerge. Also, the study shows an extension of the action–space of lean startup approaches, intended as scientific approaches to international entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

This study connects business model innovation and internationalization as few studies have done before.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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