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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|13143||2013||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, , In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 19 December 2013
What drives firms, particularly those from emerging economies, to engage in competitive catch-up with world leaders? We study the first step leading to catch-up, namely the managerial intent to acquire strategic assets that help closing the gap. Theoretically grounded in the awareness–motivation–capability (AMC) framework of competitive dynamics, we identify key factors contributing to firms’ strategic intent to catch-up by acquiring strategic assets abroad. Using a sample of 154 Chinese firms, we find that firms’ strategic assets seeking intent of foreign direct investment is influenced by their exposure to foreign competition, their governance structure, and relevant financial and managerial capabilities.
“Strategic intent” refers to a mentality of focusing on future opportunities and long-term objectives for global leadership beyond short-term strategic planning (Hamel & Prahalad, 1989). It is, according to Hamel and Prahalad, 1989 and Hamel and Prahalad, 2005, critical for laggard firms to transform their competitive advantages and catch up with, or even overtake, incumbent global leaders. An important means to achieve such catch-up is to acquire strategic assets overseas. Hence, strategic asset seeking (SAS) has become an important strategic intent motivating foreign direct investment (FDI) (Dunning and Lundan, 2008, Kogut and Chang, 1991 and Makino et al., 2002). While principally applicable to all firms, SAS intent for FDI has received heightened attention from international business scholars due to the fast-paced internationalization of emerging economy (EE) multinational enterprises (MNEs) (Luo and Tung, 2007, Rui and Yip, 2008 and Xu and Meyer, 2013). Recent studies suggest that, due to their lack of firm specific advantages and weak locally available assets, EE MNEs as “late-comers” often engage in SAS FDI to acquire strategic assets overseas (Boisot and Meyer, 2008, Child and Rodrigues, 2005, Li et al., 2012 and Luo and Tung, 2007). Research on strategic intent primarily focused on its consequences. For example, researchers examined the impact of SAS intent on EE MNEs, such as their use of cross-border acquisitions as a mode of entry (Deng, 2009, Elango and Pattnaik, 2011 and Madhok and Keyhani, 2012) and their subsidiary ownership structures (Cui & Jiang, 2009). In contrast, we lack understanding of the antecedents of strategic intent, and SAS intent of FDI in particular, which is a significant research gap because firms’ strategic intent is endogenous to organizational characteristics and competitive environment they operate in (Rui & Yip, 2008). External and internal variations thus lead to differences in strategic intent, and indirectly then to different realized FDI strategies. Examining the antecedents of firms’ SAS intent is therefore an important step toward understanding FDI strategies of EE firms. Our central research question thus asks: What factors contribute to the level of SAS intent in internationalizing EE firms? We approach the question through the awareness–motivation–capability (AMC) framework of competitive dynamics. When existing capabilities and locally available assets become inadequate for future competition, firms may aim to catch up by strategically acquiring complementary assets overseas through SAS FDI (Björkman et al., 2007, Dunning and Lundan, 2008 and Meyer et al., 2009b). The AMC framework provides a theoretical lens to study competitive actions, such as investments in catch-up. The framework links strategic actions to managers’ awareness of their internal needs and external opportunities for strategic assets, their motivation to take high risks in view of large potential long-term benefits, and their capability to identify and acquire appropriate strategic assets overseas. We argue that these decision-maker level constructs are driven by the firms’ markets, governance, and capability. With this extension, the AMC framework allows us to identify important antecedents leading to firms’ intent to seek strategic assets through FDI. The empirical context of our study is outward FDI of Chinese firms. The rapid growth of Chinese MNEs over the past decade induced scholars to re-evaluate and extend their theories (Bruton and Lau, 2008, Buckley et al., 2007 and Cui and Jiang, 2012). In particular, many Chinese MNEs pursue FDI with the intent to acquire strategic assets, rather than exploit existing resources and capabilities (Liu and Woywode, 2013, Luo and Tung, 2007 and Rui and Yip, 2008). In other words, they use FDI as a channel to overcome their disadvantages vis-à-vis existing and potential global rivals (Child and Rodrigues, 2005, Deng, 2009 and Mathews, 2002), and hence to accelerate their internationalization process (Meyer & Thaijongrak, 2014). However, not all Chinese MNEs pursue strategic assets; they also pursue traditional motives of markets and efficiency. Thus, the significance of this SAS intent, and the variation among firms in their intents, makes Chinese MNEs an ideal empirical setting to test our hypotheses. This study offers several contributions. First, we contribute to the understanding of strategic intent in international business. Intentionality is a key factor for understanding firm internationalization strategy ( Hutzschenreuter, Pedersen, & Volberda, 2007). Current research, however, does not well explain what drives firms to develop strategic intent in the first place. Since strategic intent is not exogenous, random, or directly observable ( Rui & Yip, 2008), understanding its determinants enhances the utility of this construct in business research. Second, we contribute to explaining puzzles identified in recent empirical studies of the EE MNEs. Specifically, despite their early stage of internationalization and limited international experience (Meyer & Thaijongrak, 2014), many EE firms make large international commitments leading them to adopt aggressive entry modes to accelerate their internationalization (Deng, 2009, Klossek et al., 2012, Luo and Tung, 2007, Ramamurti and Singh, 2009 and Rui and Yip, 2008). Our study of the antecedents of EE firms’ strategic intent sheds light on which firms choose such an aggressive path of SAS driven internationalization. Third, we extend the application of the AMC framework in international business. Prior competitive dynamics research has predominantly focused on existing rivals in currently contested markets (Chen, 1996, Chen and Miller, 1994, Gimeno, 1999 and Yu and Cannella, 2007). We focus on a competitive catch-up setting and discuss how the AMC dimensions can be interpreted under such conditions. Thereby, we demonstrate the usefulness and limitations of this framework in explaining long-term-oriented competitive actions by potential challenger firms.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Foreign investment decisions are strategic actions in international competition. In particular, strategic asset seeking FDI is a critical action accelerating competitive catch-up with global leaders. Hence, as we have shown, the intents underlying such FDI can be analyzed using the AMC framework of competitive dynamics research. Our findings suggest that the AMC framework provides a theoretical foundation to explain firms’ strategic asset seeking intent in FDI, a particular concern to scholarly studies of EE MNEs. We apply the AMC framework to a specific form of strategic action, namely strategic asset seeking in a context of competitive catch-up. This theoretical extension makes the framework relevant for international business research, particularly research on the “unconventional” internationalization paths of EE MNEs that seem to deviate from traditional theoretical models. Moreover, our extension and critical evaluation of the AMC framework opens several avenues for future research to enhance our understanding of competitive catch-up as an important, yet relatively underexplored, aspect of competitive dynamics.