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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter aims to take stock of existing research on emerging economy multinationals (EMNEs) in advanced host economies, a phenomenon often referred to as “South-North investment.” Both the extent of such investments and the stage in the firms’ internationalization life cycle in which these occur challenge some of the tenets of the traditional theories of multinational enterprises. The chapter critically evaluates the literature on this phenomenon and identifies three research themes related to the strategic motivation behind the investments, institutional influences, and network-based resources that explain EMNEs’ aggressive forays in advanced economies. Collectively, these theoretical and empirical studies contribute to a rethinking and refinement of current traditional understanding of the pace and paths of firm internationalization. The chapter further suggests that the unique strategic asset-seeking orientation behind EMNEs investments in advanced markets and the institutional support facilitating such expansion create important strategic and organizational challenges for these firms in their globalization efforts. Accordingly, the chapter identifies some research possibilities around related themes of ambidexterity, comparative institutionalism, and legitimacy that may facilitate further theorization and a better understanding of both normative and policy implications of the increasing investments of EMNEs in more developed economic and institutional environments.

Keywords: South-North investment, strategic asset-seeking, institutional perspective, internationalization process, risk-taking behavior, emerging market multinationals

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