The Evolution of Strategic Asset-seeking Acquisitions by Emerging Market Multinationals

Stefano Elia, Grazia D. Santangelo

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We study the extent to which emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) engage in strategic asset-seeking acquisitions in advanced countries in relation to the strength of their home- and host-country national innovation system (NIS). We suggest that early acquisitions by EMNEs were used to compensate for the EMNEs relatively weak home NIS, and targeted weaker host NIS to limit the cognitive gap EMNEs would need to address. Instead, more recent acquisitions by EMNEs are supported by a stronger home NIS, and target firms in stronger host NIS. We also propose that acquisitions by high-tech (versus non-high-tech) EMNEs need a stronger home NIS due to the technological complexity of the industry, and are limited when the complexity of a stronger host NIS adds to the industry context. We find support for most of our arguments on 179 acquisitions in the Triad by Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese multinationals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)855-866
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Strategic asset-seeking acquisitions
  • Emerging market multinationals
  • National innovation system
  • Industry context

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