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Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 129–152 | Cite as

A general theory of springboard MNEs

  • Yadong LuoEmail author
  • Rosalie L Tung
PERSPECTIVE

Abstract

The springboard view has become one theoretic lens to analyze emerging market multinationals (EMNEs) in the past decade. A decade after its first introduction in 2007, new developments offer keen insights on these firms and MNEs in general that aggressively engage in critical asset-seeking. We compare this view with other IB theories, highlighting their differences as well as complementarity. We articulate unique strengths and weaknesses of EMNEs, including their vulnerability and complexity caused in part by home country institutions. We discuss amalgamation, ambidexterity, and adaptation advantages that differentiate springboard MNEs from more established advanced country MNEs, and explain why and how springboard acts should be analyzed along with global competitiveness augmentation. We introduce an upward spiral concept to advance our understanding of linkages between springboard and post-springboard activities, and explain some critical cross-cultural and human resource management issues in the process. To help continued research on springboard MNEs, we highlight macro- and micro-management issues that are particularly worth exploring.

Keywords

springboard perspective EMNEs strategic behavior emerging markets 

Résumé

La perspective du tremplin est devenue un cadre théorique pour analyser les multinationales des marchés émergents (EMNE) durant la dernière décennie. Dix ans après sa première présentation en 2007, de nouveaux développements offrent de bons éclairages sur ces entreprises et les EMN en général qui s’engagent activement dans la recherche critique d’actifs. Soulignant leurs différences et leurs complémentarités, nous comparons cette perspective avec d’autres théories de l’international business. Nous articulons les forces et les faiblesses spécifiques aux EMNE, y compris leur vulnérabilité et leur complexité causées en partie par les institutions du pays d’origine. Nous discutons des avantages du regroupement, de l’ambidextrie et de l’adaptation qui différencient les entreprises multinationales de tremplin des multinationales plus établies des pays avancés, et expliquons pourquoi et comment les actes de tremplin devraient être analysés parallèlement à l’augmentation de la compétitivité mondiale. Nous introduisons le concept de spirale ascendante pour améliorer notre compréhension des liens entre les activités de tremplin et de post-tremplin, et expliquons certains problèmes clés de gestion interculturelle et de gestion des ressources humaines dans le processus. Pour aider à poursuivre les recherches sur les entreprises multinationales de tremplin, nous mettons en évidence les questions de macro- et de micro-management qui sont particulièrement intéressantes à explorer.

Resumen

La perspectiva del trampolín se ha convertido en uno de los lentes teóricos para analizar las empresas multinacionales de mercados emergentes (EMNEs) en la década pasada. Una década después de su primera introducción en el 2007, los nuevos desarrollos ofrecen conocimientos agudos sobre estas empresas y las multinacionales en general que se han comprometido agresivamente en la búsqueda de activos críticos. Comparamos esta perspectiva con otras teorías de negocios internacionales, resaltando sus diferencias y también su complementariedad. Articulamos las fortalezas y las debilidades únicas de las empresas multinacionales de mercados emergentes, incluyendo su vulnerabilidad y complejidad causadas en parte por las instituciones del país de origen. Discutimos las ventajas de la amalgamación, la ambidestria y la adaptación que diferencian las empresas trampolines de las multinacionales más establecidas de países avanzamos, y explicamos por qué y cómo deben ser analizadas las actuaciones de trampolín a la par del aumento de la competitividad global. Introducimos un concepto de espiral ascendente para avanzar nuestro entendimiento de los vínculos entre las actividades de trampolín y después del trampolín, y explicamos algunos aspectos críticos de la gestión intercultural y de los recursos humanos en el proceso. Para ayudar a continuar la investigación sobre los multinacionales trampolines resaltamos que los aspectos de macro y micro-gestión que valen la pena explorar.

Resumo

A visão springboard tornou-se uma lente teórica para analisar multinacionais de mercados emergentes (EMNEs) na última década. Uma década após a sua primeira introdução em 2007, novos desenvolvimentos oferecem uma visão aprofundada sobre essas empresas e MNEs em geral que se envolvem agressivamente na busca de ativos críticos. Comparamos essa visão com outras teorias do IB, destacando suas diferenças, bem como a complementaridade. Nós articulamos forças e fraquezas únicas de EMNEs, incluindo sua vulnerabilidade e complexidade, causadas em parte pelas instituições do país de origem. Discutimos as vantagens da amalgamação, ambidestria e adaptação que diferenciam as EMN springboard das multinacionais mais estabelecidas de países avançados e explicamos por que e como os atos springboard devem ser analisados juntamente com o aumento da competitividade global. Apresentamos um conceito de espiral ascendente para avançar o nosso entendimento sobre conexões entre as atividades springboard e pós springboard, e explicamos no processo algumas críticas questões entre culturas e de gerenciamento de recursos humanos. Para ajudar a continuar a pesquisa em EMN springboard, destacamos questões de gestão macro e micro que merecem especial atenção.

摘要

过去十年来国际跳板观已成为分析新兴市场跨国企业(EMNEs)的重要理论透镜。在2007年首次推出该理论后,国际商务和跨国投资的新动态为这些跨国企业继续发展提供了更为丰富的内涵。本文特别比较了国际跳板观与其它新兴市场跨国公司理论及主流国际商务理论的异同性,并重点阐述了新兴市场跨国企业的独特优势和劣势,包括国内制度环境的复杂性对其造成的影响。我们分析了跳板跨国企业与传统跨国企业的差异,特别是前者的三“A”属性,即组合性、双元性和适应性,解释了跳板行为必须与全球竞争力提升一起整体分析的必要性。我们重点介绍并阐述了“螺旋上升”这一重要概念及其内涵和机理。本文还特别讨论了跳板过程中一些关键的跨文化和人力资源管理的问题以及未来进一步探索跳板型跨国企业的重要前沿课题。

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Professor Alain Verbeke and the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

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© Academy of International Business 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  2. 2.Beedie School of BusinessSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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