Institutional Transition and Organizational Diversity: Differentiated Internationalization Strategies of Emerging Market State-owned Enterprises

Ming Hua Li

    Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

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    The rise of globalization over the past several decades has witnessed a surge of cross-border activities by emerging market firms. To a large extent, such acceleration in their overseas venturing has been precipitated by the liberalization of domestic and foreign trade regimes governing foreign direct investment. In order to compete with advanced country multinationals, emerging economy firms have increasingly leveraged a broad array of resources and organizational strategies to springboard abroad. Simultaneously, such firms are subject to dynamic shifts in their institutional terrains triggered by a plethora of heterogeneous reform treatments as their governments endeavor to modernize their economies. The initiation of these potent large-scale reforms associated with transition such as economic decentralization, market liberalization, industrial restructuring and corporate ownership reform undoubtedly exert cross-cutting and transformational impacts on the resource endowments, adaptive capabilities and strategic behaviors of emerging market firms. Given this critical phenomenon, this dissertation is motivated by the primary research question – how does institutional transition and its related change processes operate to reconfigure and alter firm resources and capabilities for internationalization? Since a significant proportion of emerging market firms are owned by governments, this thesis investigates how reforms have transformed state-owned firms’ strategic characteristics for internationalization. The dissertation comprises of three research papers utilizing extensive primary fieldwork and a manually compiled panel dataset of Chinese firms to examine emerging market state-owned firms’ overseas activities. The first paper is a conceptual piece which develops an overarching framework to delineate the reconfigured orchestration of multiple institutional reforms in the emerging economy context can spawn organizational diversity among state-owned firms leading to their differing outward FDI strategies. The second paper builds on this notion of organizational diversity and investigates how corporate ownership reform confers varying levels of institutional competitive advantages to marketized and non-marketized state owned firms to support their overseas venturing. It further examines how the relationship between firm ownership and outward FDI propensity is moderated by state-owned business group affiliation. The final paper studies how hybrid organizational forms arising from institutional transition such as university-run firms can evolve novel organizational features including ‘incubating platforms’ to launch overseas entrepreneurial spin-offs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
    PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
    Number of pages212
    ISBN (Print)9788793155589
    ISBN (Electronic)9788793155596
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    SeriesPhD series

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