I present a 2-stage theory in which emerging market firms first compete domestically based on traditional competitive advantages. Once they achieve a threshold stage, then they go overseas and are able to succeed based on company and industry characteristics, as well as emerging market characteristics. I expect to see that factors enabling firms to get to the threshold stage will include: brand value, low-cost production, experience/age, company size, possibly membership in a business group, and international sales (but not technology). Then I would expect that factors enabling firms to succeed internationally should depend on the industrial sector and the target market, as well as demonstrating emerging market idiosyncrasies such as ability to deal with high uncertainty in government policies and economic conditions as well as flexibility in dealing with business conditions. Most analyses of emerging market MNEs focus only on the last set of factors that are common to emerging markets.
The nature of a location’s institutional environment affects businesses and individual citizens, and the extent to which people trust institutions may affect regulatory compliance. We investigate institutional trust among three groups in India: founders of entrepreneurial ventures, second (or later) generation managers of family firms, and salaried employees. Rather than treating the institutional environment as monolithic, we consider six components that represent policy, implementation, and security: central and state governments, bureaucracy, judiciary, army, and police. Based on large-scale, questionnaire-based data, we find evidence that the antecedents of trust differ across both the three groups of respondents and the six aspects of the institutional environment.
Strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) has drawn praise for representing the "sweet spot" between communities’ needs and firms’ resources, capabilities and efforts. But what if the concept is pushed to its limits? A firm can initiate CSR projects not just to help communities, but to directly realize profit from them. In this conceptual paper, we ask how CSR is understood and functions when the intent of CSR projects is to conduct a form of research and development (R&D). The intended innovations are not science-based, but socially oriented; they seek to determine how to profitably meet the needs of poor people in developing countries. We develop our argument from conversations with managers and teaching cases that explain how executives believe CSR helps firms (learn how) to profitably serve new potential customers – whether through developing new markets or new products and services with a social purpose. Using CSR as a form of "living R&D" allows firms to make mistakes and to avoid short-term shareholder pressures. But there are very real risks to what in essence is unregulated experimentation on poor people, and we highlight some of them. Our argument highlights the ways in which such innovation and profit-oriented CSR challenge thinking on both CSR and R&D, and we make practical recommendations for how to ensure that intended beneficiaries are not harmed, but can instead benefit.
Women-owned businesses are not only among the fastest-growing entrepreneurial ventures in the world but also have a significant impact on other women businesses and the economies at large. This paper uses an in-depth multiple-case study design to study twenty-two Women Entrepreneurs (WE) from diverse geographical, social, economic, and industrial sectors in two of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets, India and the Philippines. The main message of our study is that in emerging markets, WEs ability to (simultaneously) sell products or offer solutions to niche segments and their capabilities to optimize resources by being innovative in identifying sources of funding, despite the institutional voids in emerging markets, enhances the competitive advantage of their businesses. To this extent, we introduce ‘A Framework to Explain the Paths of Building Women-Owned Businesses’ Competitive Advantage’ and identify some ‘propositions’ as anchors for further theory building. Finally, the findings of this study provide guidelines for entrepreneurs, educators, and policymakers that boosting women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment requires systemic solutions at scale.
We examine the role of ‘marketing communications’ in emerging markets. We sought to understand if ‘marketing communications’ holds the same relevance and meanings to managers in emerging markets as to those in advanced economies. Initially we conducted a series of case studies with managers in Vietnam, to evaluate the applicability of marketing approaches in emerging markets and understand the nature of relevant constructs and relationships. We then conducted a second study to deepen knowledge on ‘marketing communications’ in the two types of economies. Initially we developed a collection of hypotheses based on the earlier case study findings and on extant literature. We then utilized large-scale empirical data collected from exporting firms to assess the hypotheses and compare the role of ‘marketing communications’ across emerging markets and advanced economies. Findings confirm the applicability and importance of ‘marketing communications’ in emerging markets and generally show support for the hypotheses. We offer discussion and implications for managers.
This paper reviews language-sensitive research in International Business (IB) by asking how paradigmatic positions affect knowledge production in this field of study. Paradigms refer to the researchers’ assumptions about how research should be conducted and reported. Because they affect the theoretical aim and framing of a study, the data sources, and analysis techniques used, paradigms ultimately shape the kind of knowledge produced. To study how paradigmatic choices influence the knowledge produced, we compared 299 publications in the field of language-sensitive research with 229 publications in mainstream IB by determining the paradigmatic position from which each study had been conducted. Our analysis shows that the paradigmatic diversity of language-sensitive research exceeds that of mainstream IB. Although positivism still dominates language-sensitive research in IB, interpretivist and critical studies have accounted for a growing proportion of research over the years and exceed those in mainstream IB research. We suggest that the norms of the specific research field and of academia in general strongly influence paradigmatic choices, and thus the kind of knowledge researchers produce. The review opens up a novel perspective on knowledge production within language-sensitive IB research.