Multinational Enterprises and Emerging Economies
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Multinational Enterprises and Emerging Economies

Klaus E. Meyer

Guided by the overarching question “how and why does the emerging economy context matter for business?”, this collection brings together key contributions of Klaus Meyer on multinational enterprises (MNEs) competing in, and originating from, emerging economies. The book also explores how outward investment strategies contribute to building internationally competitive MNEs.
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Chapter 16: The dynamics of emerging economy MNEs: How the internationalization process model can guide future research

Klaus E. Meyer and Ornjira Thaijongrak


The rapid emergence of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging economies calls for a re-assessment of established theories of the MNE. We assess the usefulness of the internationalization process model (IPM), also known as the Uppsala model, to explain the recent strategies of emerging economy MNEs. We argue that popular stages models derived from the IPM are not helpful, but the underlying process of experiential learning driving steps of increased commitment is an important element in explaining the evolution of these MNEs over time. Focusing on the role of acquisitions within internationalization processes, we illustrate our arguments with six case studies of Thai MNEs. On this basis, we discuss how the IPM can inform future research on emerging economy MNEs. Specifically, the IPM suggests focusing on the internal and external factors that may induce firms to accelerate their cycle of international learning and commitment, in particular the roles of networks, acquisitions, human resources, big step commitments, the home country institutional environment, and possible managerial biases.

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