Edited by Frank Horwitz and Pawan Budhwar
The growth of multinational companies from the emergent economies has been an impressive phenomenon. Emerging country multinationals (EMNCs) such as Acer (Taiwan), Samsung (Korea), Infosys (India), Tata (India), Huawei (China) and Haier (China) have secured a place among the leading corporations in the global economy. They have forged a competitive edge in both product and service innovation (Ramamurti and Singh 2010; Williamson et al. 2013). But, while there is an accumulating body of evidence about their modes of market entry, their country-specific and firm-specific advantages and their reasons for global expansion, far less well understood is how distinctive their approach has been in terms of strategy and structure. To what extent have EMNCs emulated and followed the patterns established by Western MNCs with regard to the way they structure themselves and the way they control their overseas operations? Given what is known about variations in business practice across diverse cultures (Hofstede 1984) one might expect some interesting alternative modes of organising to be evident in the EMNCs. These in turn might be expected to carry implications for ways of managing human resources. Indeed, the field of comparative HRM has largely been about the analysis of the differences and similarities in HRM practices across different national contexts and cultures (Hall and Wailes 2009). As a columnist in The Financial Times speculated (Hill 2013), one might even expect these phenomenally successful MNCs to reveal new management theories to rival and replace the likes of Western gurus such as Drucker.
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