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Theoretical and Empirical Research on the Internationalization of Latin American Enterprises

Call for Papers for a special issue of the Journal of Business Research

Guest Editors: Luciano Ciravegna (Royal Holloway, University of London; INCAE), Sumit K. Kundu (Florida International University), Luis Lopez (INCAE)

Submission Deadline: September 15, 2014


Since 2008-2009 emerging markets generate the lion share of the world’s economic growth. As a result, managers and business scholars have focused their attention on studying the dynamics of emerging markets (Buckley, Clegg, Cross, Liu, Voss, and Zheng, 2007; Cavusgil, Ghauri, and Akcal, 2012; Guillen and Garcia-Canal, 2012; Khanna and Palepu, 2010: Ciravegna, Fitzgerald and Kundu, 2013; Wright, Filatotchev, Hoskisson, and Peng, 2005). The rise of multinational companies from emerging markets is becoming a major phenomenon (Ramamurti and Singh, 2009; Cuervo-Cazurra, 2012; Luo and Rui, 2009; Yamakawa, Peng and Deeds, 2008).


Emerging market multinationals (EMNEs) internationalize differently from developed economy multinationals (Guillén and García-Canal, 2009; Luo and Rui, 2009; Matthews, 2007; Yiu, Lau and Bruton, 2007). According to Luo and Tang’s (2007) “springboard perspective”, EMNEs internationalize before reaching a stage of maturity in domestic markets because internationalization nurtures the acquisition of capabilities and assets that they may lack. Some scholars reject this view, positing that EMNEs behave similarly to multinationals based in developed economies, only they have different sets of country specific and firm specific advantages (Narula, 2012). Finally, some scholars point that EMNEs may internationalize in order to escape from difficult conditions in their domestic economies or to pursue opportunities in an entrepreneurial fashion (Khanna and Palepu, 2010; Madhok and Keyhani, 2012).


Most of the studies on which EMNEs theories focus on a very small number of emerging markets especially China and India (Ciravegna, Fitzgerald, and Kundu, 2013). Several Latin American firms have internationalized in aggressive and innovative ways, often outcompeting established players (Casanova, 2009). Latin American firms are now among the world global players in several industries, ranging from cement (Cemex), to aerospace (Embraer), bread (Bimbo), sweets (Arcor), and wine (Concha y Toro) (Guillén and García-Canal, 2009). However, our understanding of internationalization strategy of Latin American firms remains shallow (Pérez-Batres, Pisani, & Doh, 2010). International business scholars point that Latin American firms internationalize rather regionally, though the number of empirical studies examining the phenomenon is limited, and tends to focus on a few well known cases, whereas the majority of Latin American firms, including mid-sized multinational companies, have thus far been under the radar of scientific research (Casanova, 2009; Lopez, Ciravegna and Kundu, 2009; Rugman and Verbeke, 2004). The result is an empirical gap with regards to the generalizability of EMNE theories to Latin American firms.


Do Latin American firms behave similarly to the Chinese and Indian firms that have been discussed more thorougly by the international business literature? Or do they behave more in line with developed economy multinationals, internationalizing gradually as they accumulate resources and capabilities?

This special edition of JBR aims to contribute to the debate on emerging market multinationals by inviting scholarly articles focusing on the internationalization of firms based in Latin America. We are particularly interested in new studies, which use fresh empirical evidence to examine whether and how the internationalization of Latin American firms corresponds to the EMNE theories (e.g. springboard perspective, institutional void perspective, linkage-leverage-learning perspective), or whether they follow conventional IB theories (e.g. eclectic paradigm, resource based view, gradual internationalization process model, internalization theory, and network theory).


The guest editors seek studies focusing on firm internationalization based on one or multiple countries of Latin America. The contributions can tackle, among others, the following research questions:


-       Which theories from the international business, international entrepreneurship, and international marketing fields are suited to explain the internationalization of Latin American companies?

-           Does the internationalization of Latin American enterprises contribute to the development of emerging markets multinational enterprises (EMNEs) internationalization

    theories? How?

-           Do the springboard and linkage-leverage-learning perspectives apply to Latin American firms?

-           What explains the speed and scope of internationalization of Latin American firms?

-           What are the motives for internationalizing of Latin American firms?

-           How important are ownership and the composition of the management team for the internationalization of Latin American firms?

-           Does the eclectic paradigm explain the internationalization of Latin American firms?

-           Do institutional characteristics contribute to explain the international behavior of Latin American companies?


To submit your work, please email your paper to Luciano Ciravegna at [log in to unmask]

All papers accepted in an initial screening will enter double-blind peer review process.


Submissions will be limited to 50 pages of text and up to ten figures and tables.  Submissions must comply to the JBR style requirements.  For JBR style requirements, go to




Buckley, P. J., Clegg, L. J., Cross, A. R., Liu, X., Voss, H., & Zheng, P. (2007). The determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investment. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(4), 499-518.

Casanova, L. (2009). Global Latinas [Electronic book]: Latin America's emerging multinationals. Palgrave Macmillan.

Cavusgil, S. T., Ghauri, P. N., & Akcal, A. A. (2012). Doing business in emerging markets. Sage.

Ciravegna, L.; Fitzgerald, R., & Kundu, S. (2013) Operating in emerging markets. Financial Times (FT) Press, Pearson, New York, USA.

Ciravegna, L.; Lopez, L. & Kundu, S. (2013) “Country of origin and network effects on internationalization: A comparative study of SMEs from an emerging and developed economy”, Journal of Business Research,

Ciravegna, L.; Lopez, L. & Kundu, S. (2009) “Born Global or Born Regional? Evidence from an exploratory study in the Costa Rican Software Industry”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 40 (7): 1228-1238.

Contractor, F. J., Kumar, V., & Kundu, S. K. (2007). Nature of the relationship between international expansion and performance: The case of emerging market firms. Journal of World Business, 42(4), 401-417.

CuervoCazurra, A. (2012). Extending theory by analyzing developing country multinational companies: solving the goldilocks debate. Global Strategy Journal, 2(3), 153-167.

 Guillén, M. F., & García-Canal, E. (2009). The American model of the multinational firm and the “new” multinationals from emerging economies. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(2), 23-35.

 Guillén, M. F., & García-Canal, E. (2012) Emerging markets rule. McGraw Hill, US.

Khanna, T., & Palepu, K. G. (2010). Winning in emerging markets: A road map for strategy and execution. Harvard Business Press.

Hoskisson, R. E., Eden, L., Lau, C. M., & Wright, M. (2000). Strategy in emerging economies. Academy of Management Journal, 43(3), 249-267.

Luo YD, Rui HC. 2009. An ambidexterity perspective toward multinational enterprises from emerging economies. Academy of Management Perspectives 23(4): 4970.

Luo, Y., & Tung, R. L. (2007). International expansion of emerging market enterprises: A springboard perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(4), 481-498.


Mathews, J. A. (2006). Dragon multinationals: New players in 21st century globalization. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23(1), 5-27.


Madhok, A., & Keyhani, M. (2012). Acquisitions as entrepreneurship: asymmetries, opportunities, and the internationalization of multinationals from emerging economies. Global Strategy Journal, 2(1), 26-40.

Narula, R. (2012). Do we need different frameworks to explain infant MNEs from developing countries? Global Strategy Journal, 2(3), 188-204.

Peng M.W., Wang D.Y.L., Jiang Y. 2008. An institution-based view of international business strategy: a focus on emerging economies. Journal of International Business Studies 39(5): 920936.

Pérez-Batres, L.A., Pisani, M.J., & Doh, J.P. 2010. Latin America’s Contribution to IB Scholarship. Academy of International Business Insights, 10(1): 3-7. 

Ramamurti, R., & Singh, J. V. (Eds.). (2009). Emerging multinationals in emerging markets. Cambridge University Press.

Ramamurti, R. (2012). What is really different about emerging market multinationals? Global Strategy Journal, 2(1), 41-47.

Rugman, A. M., & Verbeke, A. (2004). A perspective on regional and global strategies of multinational enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(1), 3-18.

Yamakawa, Y., Peng, M. W., & Deeds, D. L. (2008). What drives new ventures to internationalize from emerging to developed economies? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32(1), 59-82.


Yiu, D. W., Lau, C., & Bruton, G. D. (2007). International venturing by emerging economy firms: the effects of firm capabilities, home country networks, and corporate entrepreneurship. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(4), 519-540.


Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Hoskisson, R. E., & Peng, M. W. (2005). Strategy Research in Emerging Economies: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom*. Journal of Management Studies, 42(1), 1-33.


Dr. Sumit K. Kundu
James K. Batten Eminent Scholar Chair in International Business
Academic Director - Master's in International Business program
Department of Management and International Business
College of Business Administration
Florida International University
345-B Ryder Business Building
11200 SW 8 Street
Miami, FL 33199
Telephone: (305) 348-3251
Fax:       (305) 348-6146
Email:     [log in to unmask]

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