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Book part
Publication date: 26 July 2007

Harry P. Bowen

In this paper, I address issues concerning the empirical estimation of a relationship between firm performance and its degree of multinationality. I argue for greater…

Abstract

In this paper, I address issues concerning the empirical estimation of a relationship between firm performance and its degree of multinationality. I argue for greater delineation of the underlying nature of firms’ multinationality and point to several statistical issues regarding estimation that appear to need resolution, but which appear to have been largely neglected in the literature that has examined for a multinationality–performance relationship. Among these are endogeneity of the multinationality construct in the performance relationship and the likelihood that the multinationality–performance relationship is heterogeneous across firms.

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Regional Aspects of Multinationality and Performance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1395-2

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2020

I-Fan Yen and Hsin-Mei Lin

This paper aims to develop an integrated perspective on the relationship between multinationality and performance in the outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop an integrated perspective on the relationship between multinationality and performance in the outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) of Chinese firms. The study not only represents contrasting OFDI patterns – namely, born global-natured multiple synchronous foreign investments versus conventional internationalization process (IP)-natured steady increasing foreign investments – but also contributes to understanding the extent to which explanations of home political influence need to be rooted within the general theory of multinationality.

Design/methodology/approach

By testing a comprehensive panel observation of 8,635 OFDI projects from 1991-2016 in China, this study found that multinationality with the new pattern of multiple synchronous OFDIs has a superior performance effect compared with the conventional pattern of steady increasing OFDIs.

Findings

This study also finds a positive relationship between multinationality (international diversification and home political influence) and the performance effect with the new pattern of multiple synchronous OFDIs, as well as a partial positive relationship between multinationality and the performance effect with the conventional pattern of steady increasing OFDIs.

Research limitations/implications

The study extends the understanding of the performance effects of Chinese multinational enterprises, which may benefit more from the new pattern of multiple synchronous OFDIs than from the conventional pattern of steady increasing OFDIs when the home-country institution is strongly positioned.

Originality/value

This paper concludes that multinationality needs an integrated framework that accounts for the new pattern of OFDI and the influence of diversification and home politics, particularly for the emerging country, China.

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Chinese Management Studies, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Chao Zhou

The purpose of this paper is to explore how multinationality affects multinational companies’ (MNCs) downside risk and the moderate effects of ownership structure in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how multinationality affects multinational companies’ (MNCs) downside risk and the moderate effects of ownership structure in the setting of emerging markets based on Chinese publicly traded manufacturing MNCs.

Design/methodology/approach

The author derives hypotheses based on real options theory and agency theory, and tests hypotheses by using Tobit model and a unique data set of Chinese A-shared publicly traded manufacturing MNCs in the period of 2010–2016.

Findings

The empirical results suggest that multinationality is positively related to downside risk and this effect is subjected to ownership structure for firms in emerging markets. In particular, multinationality of MNCs with a high level of ownership concentration, managerial ownership and institutional ownership is more likely to reduce downside risk.

Practical implications

The main conclusion of this paper highlights the importance of ownership structure of MNCs in explaining the real options value of multinationality, and conveys to owners of MNCs in China and other emerging markets the need to strengthen firms’ governance if they want to maximize the benefits of multinational operations.

Originality/value

This study extends existing studies by taking ownership structure into consideration and highlighting the importance of agency problem in the examination of multinationality and downside risk, which provides a potential explanation for previous mixed evidence. This study also provides new evidence for the relationship between multinationality and downside risk by using a unique sample from China, an emerging market country.

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Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2008

Sung C. Bae, Bell J. C. Park and Xiaohong Wang

We examine whether firms’ multinationality leads to better performance and what the role of R&D investment is in the multinationality performance linkage. Unlike the…

Abstract

We examine whether firms’ multinationality leads to better performance and what the role of R&D investment is in the multinationality performance linkage. Unlike the previous studies, we employ both accounting‐ and market‐based measures of firm performance for a large sample of U.S. manufacturing firms. Our results show that the empirical relation between multinationality and performance is not monotonic but varies with the phase of a firm’s multinationality, starting with a negative relation initially, followed by a positive one, and then again a negative one. This horizontal S‐shaped curvilinear relation of multinationality is more pronounced for the market‐based performance measure and is supportive of the three‐stage theory of internationalization. We also find that a firm’s multinationality is related to greater firm performance when the firm possesses R&D investment, and that the effect of R&D increases with the extent of a firm’s multinationality. These results lend strong support for the Internalization theory and the resource‐based view of firms’ international expansion. Our results are robust to different model specifications with an alternative measure of multinationality.

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Multinational Business Review, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Ahmed Riahi‐Belkaoui and Ronald D. Picur

Discusses three theories on the link between multinationality and investment value (internalization, imperfect world capital markets and managerial objectives) and…

Abstract

Discusses three theories on the link between multinationality and investment value (internalization, imperfect world capital markets and managerial objectives) and develops hypotheses on its relationship with the informativeness of accounting earnings and levels of discretionary accruals. Tests them on 1994‐1998 data from a sample of US multinationals using regression techniques; and presents the results which suggest that the level of multinationality is positively related to the magnitude of discretionary accruals and to the informativeness of accounting earnings.

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Managerial Finance, vol. 27 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Ahmed Riahi‐Belkaoui

Refers to previous research on the firm characteristics which affect the relationship between unexpected returns and unexpected earnings to suggest that multinationality

Abstract

Refers to previous research on the firm characteristics which affect the relationship between unexpected returns and unexpected earnings to suggest that multinationality may proxy for all of them. Develops mathematical models to investigate the effect of multinationality and applies them to 1995‐1999 US data on multinational firms. Describes the methodology and presents the results, which suggest that firms with relatively more multinationality have smaller, less significant earnings response coefficients and vice versa. Concludes that multinationality is a good proxy for firm size, quality of preannouncement information, earnings predictability etc.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2004

Douglas E. Thomas and Lorraine Eden

Previous theoretical explanations and empirical analyses of the multinationality‐performance relationship have produced mixed arguments and results. Linear and inverted…

Abstract

Previous theoretical explanations and empirical analyses of the multinationality‐performance relationship have produced mixed arguments and results. Linear and inverted U‐shaped relationships have been theorized and confirmed empirically. Recent research has theorized that there is a three‐stage, sigmoid relationship between multinationality and performance. We contribute to the debate by showing that the impact of multinationality depends on the time dimension incorporated in the performance measure; that is, the net benefits from multinationality are likely to be higher in the longer term. The results from our sample of US manufacturing multinationals indicate that there is a three‐stage, sigmoid multinationality‐performance relationship.

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Multinational Business Review, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2021

Ohad Ref and Itzhak Gnizy

The relationship between multinationality and firm performance is a central issue in the international marketing and business literatures. Predominantly, this body of…

Abstract

Purpose

The relationship between multinationality and firm performance is a central issue in the international marketing and business literatures. Predominantly, this body of research has tried to identify a single, generalized pattern for this relationship. However, despite the vast number of studies, results have been characterized as mixed or inconsistent. In this study, we take a fresh look at this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

We focus on a key inducement to expand firm multinationality – the search for a more efficient way to exploit firm resources, and also on a specific operationalization of multinationality – firm geographic scope. We use a formal analytical model analyzing the trade-off between benefits and costs arising from expanding firm geographic scope and emphasizing the role of lumpy costs emanating from resource indivisibility.

Findings

The relationship between geographic scope and performance cannot be confined to a single pattern, but instead, may have any one of a set of patterns: negatively monotonic shape, inverted U-shape, S-shape, M-shape or, multiple-wave inverted U-shape.

Practical implications

The current study offers managers some guidelines to identify which of the above patterns fits their firm's specific case, and to identify the optimal level of geographic scope for their firm.

Originality/value

We conclude that the search for a single, generalized pattern for multinationality-performance is largely futile, whereas the focus on specific inducements and operationalizations for multinationality allows us to explain when and why specific patterns are more likely to occur.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2019

Mohamed Amal and Huaru Kang

The main objective of the present chapter is to address empirically the impacts of institutional distance (ID) on the multinationality level of firms from developing…

Abstract

The main objective of the present chapter is to address empirically the impacts of institutional distance (ID) on the multinationality level of firms from developing countries and interpret how the interaction between ID and firm resources affects firms from developing countries. Using data of firms from developing countries, we estimated an empirical cross-section model. The results show that while cultural distance was not found statistically significant, ID, on the other hand, was statistically significant. The higher the distance between home and host country, the higher the multinationality of firms from developing countries. We also found a positive and statistically significant correlation between intangible resource and multinationality, which suggests a tendency toward new pattern in the internationalization of firms from emerging economies.

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International Business in a VUCA World: The Changing Role of States and Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-256-0

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Article
Publication date: 15 October 2020

Pearlean Chadha and Jenny Berrill

This paper aims to contribute to the regionalisation–globalisation debate in international business (IB) by providing a longitudinal analysis of firm-level multinationality

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the regionalisation–globalisation debate in international business (IB) by providing a longitudinal analysis of firm-level multinationality. The analysis uses a unique hand-collected data set of both accounting (sales) and non-accounting (subsidiaries) data. The percentage of foreign sales is also used as an additional measure of multinationality.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper categorises constituent firms of the Financial Times Stock Exchange 350 index over an 18-year time period from 1998 to 2015. Firms are categorised using the multinationality classification system developed by Aggarwal et al. (2011). The paper also conducts an industrial analysis across ten industries.

Findings

The evidence shows increasing multinationality over time that suggests a “trans-regional” operational strategy rather than a global or regional one. The results also show that UK firms are more multinational based on subsidiaries than sales. This contradicts the traditional stages theory of internationalisation where firms first expand sales, then subsidiaries. While some support for triad regions is found, there is also evidence of firm-level operations expanding beyond the triad regions of North America, Asia and Europe to non-triad regions such as Africa, Oceania and South America. The industrial analysis shows that non-service firms are more multinational than service firms.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper to provide an in-depth longitudinal analysis of the geographical dispersion using both sales and subsidiaries data for UK firms. This paper provides a unique perspective on the regionalisation–globalisation debate in IB and presents evidence contrary to traditional stages theories of firm-level internationalisation.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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