INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES OF EMERGING MARKET FIRMS: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF RESEARCH IN TOP INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT JOURNALS

Irina Jormanainen, Alexei Koveshnikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

• During the last decade the phenomenon of rapid internationalization of emerging market firms (EMFs) has increasingly attracted scholarly attention. Yet, the conclusions concerning the nature and the theoretical foundations of EMFs’ international expansion vary greatly. There is the need to critically assess the existing theorizing in this field and to identify the underlying reasons for its mixed conclusions, its specific limitations, as well as directions for future research.
• To achieve this, we examine publications on the internationalization of EMFs in fourteen top international management (IM) journals in the period 2000-2010. We use the inductive approach and the qualitative content analysis methodology.
• Our analysis shows that the published research can be classified into two groups: macro- and micro-level studies. The macro-level studies predominantly employ macro-level institutional factors to examine the overall patterns of EMFs’ international expansion, while the micro-level studies build on a wider range of approaches, including the resource-based view, network and strategy perspectives to investigate various aspects of EMFs’ internationalization.
• The paper identifies a number of theoretical inconsistencies in the existing research that arguably cause ambiguity in findings and suggests future research directions to address these inconsistencies. By doing so the analysis contributes to the central debate in literature concerning whether conventional theories suffice to explain the EMFs’ internationalization or new theoretical approaches are needed.
• The analysis also illustrates that the research on EMFs’ internationalization can be improved through refined application of a broader range of methodologies such as longitudinal and mixed-method studies. Also the geographic focus of studies needs to be widened. Currently it is clearly biased towards China, while other emerging markets such as e.g. Russia and Brazil are under researched. Overall, the review shows that top IM journals have only recently started to publish studies on EMFs.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalManagement International Review
Volume52
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)691-725
Number of pages35
ISSN0938-8249
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • KOTA2012

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