Rising power firms and FDI - The challenge of economic development


Rudolf R. Sinkovics • Mo Yamin


Call for Papers - Critical Perspectives on International Business Journal - http://www.emeraldinsight.com/cpoib.htm


About Critical Perspectives on International Business Journal (CPoIB)

Critical perspectives on international business (CPOIB) supports critically reflexive discussion of the nature and impact of international business activity from trans- and multi-disciplinary perspectives, rather than within specific fields. The journal encourages readers to engage with, and build upon, writings and activities from the broader societal context that challenge the hegemony of global and transnational corporations, of managerial orthodoxy and of dominant academic discourse.

About the special issue

Critical Perspectives on International Business invites the submission of articles that address the theme “Rising power firms and FDI - The challenge of economic development”. Rising powers refers to countries such as China, India and Brazil which are on a steep growth and development trajectory and rising power firms refers to emergent and leading firms from these countries with a clear strategic intent to challenge western and dominant forms of economic organisation (e.g. multinational enterprises (MNEs), lead firms in global value chains (GVCs)) (Luo and Tung 2007). Recent deliberations in international business pertaining to the impact of MNEs on economic development suggest a revision of dominant firm strategies along the side of social embeddedness, local relationship formation and social entrepreneurship (Seelos and Mair 2005; Tasavori and Sinkovics 2011; Yamin and Sinkovics 2009). Social embeddedness denotes an emerging concept of the engagement of firms in local economies and networks (Badry 2009), which extends beyond the definition of business networks which focusses mostly on direct suppliers and customers (Forsgren, Holm, and Johanson 2005). In particular, social embeddedness affords a clear link to broader concepts such as legitimacy of international business in emerging economies (Gifford, Kestler, and Anand 2010; Reimann et al. 2012). London and Hart (2004) offer examples of companies succeeding in less developed countries by pursuing relationships with non-traditional partners, co-inventing custom solutions, and building local capacity. They highlight the importance of capabilities of social embeddedness as a way for MNEs to perform effectively in less developed environments with mutual benefits for themselves and the host economies. Brady (2009) examines relational and structural network aspects and their influence on the success of companies’ Base of the Pyramid (BOP) strategies.

Nevertheless, given the dominant strategic trajectories of most MNEs from advanced economies a social embeddedness orientation entails perhaps too radical a shift in their strategies (Zanfei 2005). In contrast, rising power firms from emerging economies are arguably more likely to exhibit higher levels of capabilities for social embeddedness by default. As Amsden (2009) suggests, they typically have more knowledge of the local business environment, and are better plugged into relational and social networks.

This may have significant implications for international business in that patterns of South-South trade, FDI and other economic interactions can promise greater degrees of development outcomes and will offer products and techniques with an improved fit for customers and other users.

Manuscripts are solicited on topics addressing …

This special issue invites conceptual and empirical research that sheds greater light on the capabilities of rising power firms, their engagement and social embeddedness in both their own environment and in cross-border environments and their distinctive development impact of specific firm strategies. Within this framework we are interested in contributions that address one or more of the following issues:

·         Is the growth of rising power firms based on highly distinctive business models or are these just a replication of existing ones?

·         Is there any empirical evidence that suggests traditional and rising power firms exhibit different developmental impacts?

·         Studies exploring the nature of social or community embeddedness of rising power firms – are there any lessons of this for western multinationals?

·         Empirical studies that investigate the impact of rising power firms on poverty reduction, in their own country and other markets.

·         Studies examining the involvement of rising power firms in global value chains or global production networks with specific reference to standards (labour, environment, products) or ‘double-standards’.

·         Studies that address CSR practices and approaches in relation to rising power firms.

·         The role of innovation, technological upgrading and leveraging on economic development.

·         Studies that focus on how social embeddedness of rising power firms may foster innovation capabilities.

Special Issue Editors

Rudolf R. Sinkovics, Manchester Business School, http://www.personal.mbs.ac.uk/rsinkovics/, Email: [log in to unmask]

Mo Yamin, Manchester Business School, http://www.personal.mbs.ac.uk/myamin/, Email: [log in to unmask]

Submission information


Amsden, Alice H. (2009), "Does firm ownership matter? Poes vs. Foes in the developing world," in Emerging multinationals in emerging markets, Ravi Ramamurti and Jitendra V. Singh (Eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 64-77.

Badry, Dina (2009), Multinational companies in low-income markets: An analysis of social embeddedness in southeast Asia Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag.

Forsgren, Mats, Ulf Holm, and Jan Johanson (2005), Managing the embedded multinational: A business network view. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Gifford, Blair, Andrew Kestler, and Sharmila Anand (2010), "Building local legitimacy into corporate social responsibility: Gold mining firms in developing nations," Journal of World Business, 45 (3), 304-311.

London, Ted and Stuart L. Hart (2004), "Reinventing strategies for emerging markets: Beyond the transnational model," Journal of International Business Studies, 35 (5), 350-370.

Luo, Yadong and Rosalie L. Tung (2007), "International expansion of emerging market enterprises: A springboard perspective," Journal of International Business Studies, 38 (4), 481-498.

Reimann, Felix, Matthias Ehrgott, Lutz Kaufmann, and Craig R. Carter (2012), "Local stakeholders and local legitimacy: MNEs' social strategies in emerging economies," Journal of International Management, 18 (1), 1-17.

Seelos, Christian and Johanna Mair (2005), "Social entrepreneurship: Creating new business models to serve the poor," Business Horizons, 48 (3), 241-246.

Tasavori, Misagh and Rudolf R. Sinkovics (2011), "Socially entrepreneurial behaviour of multinational companies: Are MNCs 'social entrepreneurs'?," in Firm-level internationalisation, regionalism and globalization, Elaine Hutson, Rudolf R. Sinkovics, and Jenny Berrill (Eds.). Houndmills, Basingstoke, U.K.: Palgrave MacMillan, 397-411.

Yamin, Mo and Rudolf R. Sinkovics (2009), "Infrastructure or foreign direct investment?: An examination of the implications of MNE strategy for economic development," Journal of World Business, 44 (2), 144-157.

Zanfei, Antonello (2005), "Globalization at bay? Multinational growth and technology spillover," Critical Perspectives on International Business, 1 (1), 5-17.


Please contact the guest editors for further guidance:


Rudolf R. Sinkovics, Manchester Business School - [log in to unmask]

Mo Yamin, Manchester Business School - [log in to unmask]



Best wishes.





Professor Joanne Roberts

Strategic Management and International Business Subject Group

Newcastle Business School

Northumbria University

City Campus East 1

Newcastle upon Tyne


United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 191 243 7528

Mobile: +44 (0) 777 150 1121

Email: [log in to unmask]


Co-founder and co-editor of critical perspectives on international business

**Winner of Emerald's Best New Journal Award 2010**


Editor of Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation



Newcastle Business School – ranked in the Top 10  for Graduate Level Employability, ‘The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2012’



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