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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 258–277
This paper studies the sequence of value-added activities in the multinationalization of firms from developing countries. Analysis of twenty Latin American multinational firms, or Multilatinas, reveals three alternative sequences: start multinationalizing with marketing subsidiaries in all countries, start multinationalizing with production subsidies in all countries, or start multinationalizing with marketing subsidiaries in some countries and production subsidiaries in others. These alternative sequences are explained through the integration and extension of arguments from the incremental model of internationalization and its discussion of difficulties, and the eclectic paradigm of foreign production and its discussion of advantages. I argue that firms that benefit from a location advantage in the country of origin are more likely to start multinationalizing using marketing subsidiaries, firms that benefit from a location advantage in the host country are more likely to start multinationalizing using production subsidiaries, and firms that face difficulties in the transfer of products across countries are more likely to start multinationalizing using production subsidiaries.
I study the sequence of value-added activities that enable a developing country firm to become a multinational enterprise (MNE), that is, a firm with value added activities abroad. Despite perceptions about developing-country MNEs being technologically backward and unable to compete against developed-country MNEs, developing-country firms are increasingly expanding across borders. While in 1992 there were only 3100 transnational firms from developing countries, by 2005 there were 20238 (UNCTAD, 1993, 2006). Some have even become leaders in their industries, like the Mexican cement producer Cemex, which is the second largest cement producer in the world. However, little is known about the multinationalization process of these companies, and predictions from existing theory, which has been developed by studying developed-country MNEs, may not be fully applicable. Developing country firms differ in their advantages and internationalization from developed country ones (Dunning, 2000 and Dunning et al., 1998). Additionally, developing-country firms suffer from location disadvantages, such as underdevelopment of institutions in their home country, which induce them to follow unrelated diversification in a profitable manner, in contrast to developed-country firms (Khanna and Yafeh, 2005). These location disadvantages may also affect their multinationalization process. I analyze twenty Latin American MNEs, or Multilatinas, to explore whether, how and why their multinationalization process differs from that proposed in existing literature. I find three alternative sequences of multinationalization: start with marketing subsidiaries in all countries, start with production subsidies in all countries, and start with marketing subsidiaries in some countries and production subsidiaries in others.