Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on International Strategic Management

Handbook of Research on International Strategic Management

Elgar original reference

Edited by Alain Verbeke and Hemant Merchant

The Handbook provides an impressive state-of-the-art overview of the international strategic management field as an area of scholarly inquiry. The great strength of the work is the thoughtfulness of the messages conveyed by the expert team of authors.

Chapter 6: Triple testing the quality of multinationality–performance research

Alain Verbeke and Paul Brugman

Subjects: business and management, international business, strategic management


The international business literature has suggested various linkages between multinationality (M) and performance (P). A number of authors have recently put forward an S-shaped curve, allegedly describing a generalized MP relationship. However, internalization theory, in line with Buckley and Casson (1976), Hennart (1982) and Hennart (2007), challenges the concept itself of such a generalized relationship between these two parameters. This chapter adopts an internalization theory perspective, meant to improve the design of MP studies, and cautions against assuming too quickly a generalized MP relationship. In line with internalization theory, we argue that firm-level performance depends primarily on the characteristics of the companies’ firm-specific advantages (FSAs) rather than on their degree of multinationality. We propose triple testing the quality of MP studies by assessing how well they address the various challenges related to conceptualizing and measuring M, P and the MP relationship itself.

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