Asian Business & Management

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Seeking legitimacy: Chinese OFDI and domestic isomorphic pressures

  • Bin Guo
  • Gangxiang XuEmail author
  • Wen Li
Research Article


Drawing on institutional theory, we argue that the likelihood of a Chinese firm adopting an isomorphic strategy in outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) depends on the influence of external isomorphic pressures—specifically, domestic regional and domestic industrial isomorphic pressures—and the firm’s internal legitimacy-seeking motivation. Quantitative analysis of a sample of 107 Chinese listed firms and their OFDI projects in the 2008–2012 period offers supportive evidence for our arguments. Our study offers further insights into Chinese MNEs by providing a better understanding of the impact of China’s regional and industrial diversity on their OFDI.


Domestic isomorphic pressures State ownership Firm size Outward foreign direct investment 



The authors are greatly indebted to the Associate Editor, Dylan Sutherland, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions, that have significantly improved the paper. This research is supported by the Research Project ‘The determinants of entry mode and location choice for OFDI in Chinese manufacturing enterprises: An integrative framework from the LLL perspective’, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Grant Number 71372054).


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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