This special issue will focus on the internationalisation of emerging market firms and how they compare with other emerging markets and developed market firms.
This theme is motivated by various internationalisation theories which have emerged in the literature. Rugman et al. (2011) examined the literature on international business for a fifty year period from 1960 to 2010 and found that there have been shifts in the unit of analysis in internationalisation research, for example, neo classical economists considered country specific advantages as the drivers for internationalisation (Vernon, 1966); in the 1960s to early 80s the multinational enterprise (MNE) with firm specific advantages was the primary unit of analysis (e.g. Hymer, 1976; Buckley and Casson, 1976; Teece, 1986; Dunning, 1988); in latter part of the period, subsidiaries of the MNE have been the unit of analysis.
Though several determinants came into existence of MNEs, some studies focused on how internationalisation happens for a firm. Researchers found that internationalisation took place in a series of incremental steps; firms gradually increased the level of investment in a country as they gained more knowledge and experience and the time frame for the investment decisions was related to the psychic distance between the nations which was, in turn, related to the differences in culture, education, development and business practices (Johanson and Vahlne, 1977). Specifically, Dunning (1988) proposed that determinants of a firm’s decision to undertake foreign production could be explained by the Ownership advantages, Location specific advantages and desire to Internalise production (OLI framework). Buckley and Casson (2009) suggested that firms would choose to internalise activities from research and development to marketing of products mainly in knowledge intensive industries where information asymmetries were high, for instance, in low patent protection countries or for non patentable products; by setting up their own production facilities rather than licensing know how.
Firms choosing to internationalise via foreign direct investments could do so by setting up a joint venture, greenfield venture or alternatively acquiring an existing venture in the host country. Researchers suggested that the entry mode choices are a result of an analysis of transaction cost economics (Hennart and Park, 1993); are influenced by cultural differences between the investing and host nation (Kogut and Singh, 1988) or through a simultaneous examination of transaction cost economics, and the cultural and institutional aspects (e.g. Brouthers and Brouthers, 2000; Peng et al., 2008). On the other hand, Forssbæck and Oxelheim (2008) suggested financial characteristics of firms should be added to the OLI framework in which firms with stronger financial characteristics could achieve ownership advantages which impacted their propensity to undertake foreign direct investments.
However, internationalisation strategies adopted by emerging market firms are not the same as those found in the developed world. Emerging market firms internationalise in an unconventional manner and hence, there is a need for new theory development for emerging market firms (e.g. Hoskisson et al., 2000; Elango & Pattnaik, 2007; Filatotchev et al., 2007; Luo and Tung, 2007; Yiu et al., 2007; Filippov, 2012; Lebedev et al., 2015; Zhu and Zhu, 2016). Hoskisson et al. (2000), in a special research forum on emerging economies recommended that the research agenda needs to be broadened to include developments in emerging markets to provide a theoretical and empirical understanding of strategies adopted by emerging market firms. They stated that emerging markets face strong environmental pressures, which are not uniform across nations and also not simultaneous across markets; hence establishing the need for further research on emerging market internationalisation strategies that examine each emerging market separately. Fey et al. (2016) argued that firms from emerging markets were starting to assert themselves as significant global competitors and it is time for developed market firms to recognise the threat from emerging market firms.
Ramamurti (2012), in his commentary, specifically raised the question whether theories developed for developed market MNEs applied to emerging market MNEs. Researchers compared internationalisation strategies, for example, cross-border mergers and acquisitions for emerging markets. Several aspects about acquisition strategies have been studied. Citing the challenge in understanding aggressive cross-border acquisitions undertaken by emerging economy firms, Sun et al. (2012) proposed a framework that integrates OLI framework and the comparative advantage theory. Based on a comparative analysis, Deng and Yang (2015) observed that determinants were influenced by whether the host nation was developed or developing. Chari and Shaikh (2017) argued that emerging economy international location choices are driven by a desire for dynamic efficiency; hence in contradiction with acquisitions by developed market players, they reflect a lower negative relation between distance and number of acquisitions.
On the other hand, researchers studied the post-acquisition integration strategies of emerging market firms as well and suggested strategies that aid performance (e.g. Kumar, 2009; Mellahi et al., 2016; Kale and Singh, 2017). Some researchers used case study approach in understanding emerging market firms (Klein and Wöcke, 2007; Thite et al., 2016).
Motivated by these factors, this special issue will aim to study comparisons of emerging market firms with developed market firms. Comparisons could also be drawn around differences between emerging market firms based in BRICS, Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe. Studies that conduct critical analysis, comparative observation, empirical testing and longitudinal case investigations relating to the special issue theme are particularly welcome. Importantly, submissions must establish a coherent relation between empirical findings and extant theories like RBV, OLI, TCE, Institutional theory, and Agency theory, to cite a few.
- Do firms in emerging markets internationalise as per the OLI framework?
- Do firms in emerging markets choose to internalise activities in industries where information asymmetries are high?
- Do emerging market firms with stronger financial characteristics achieve ownership advantages?
- Does Internationalisation take place in a series of incremental steps for emerging market firms and what modes of entry do they follow in developed and developing markets?
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Motives and patterns of international expansion of emerging market firms: differences and similarities (e.g., Sun et al., 2012)
- A comparative analysis of the determinants of internationalisation strategies of emerging market firms: business groups, private and state-owned (e.g., Deng and Yang, 2015)
- A comparative analysis of the institutional framework for internationalisation and its effect on strategies of emerging market firms
- Role of corporate governance in emerging market firms' decision to internationalise
- Internationalisation strategies and firm performance in developed and emerging markets
- National culture and internationalisation strategies: a comparative analysis of emerging market firms
- A comparison of cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions by emerging market firms: pre- and post-merger issues; event studies, financial performance (e.g., Moeller and Schlingemann, 2005)
- Strategic alliances and joint ventures as a mode of entry in the internationalisation of emerging market firms
- Local distinctiveness of emerging market firms' internationalisation strategies
- Information technology and its impact on internationalisation strategies of emerging market firms
- Regulatory framework comparison of emerging markets and its impact on firms' internationalisation strategies in different countries
- Born global firms' strategies and firm performance
- Branding and internationalisation: the impact of country-of-origin and comparison of emerging market firms
- Internationalisation strategies of small and medium enterprises and high-tech firms
- Industry-wise analysis of internationalisation strategies in emerging markets
Manuscripts due by: 15 December, 2017
Notification to authors: 15 March, 2018
Final versions due by: 30 April, 2018
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