Dear All,


Please refer to the call below about the JWB special issue on Business Group Internationalization. Due to several requests, we have decided to extend the submission deadline by two weeks to March 15th.  Please consider submitting your works to the special issue.






Ajai Gaur



Business Group Affiliation and Internationalization of Emerging Market Firms


Revised Submission Deadline: March 15, 2015


Guest Editors: Ajai Gaur, Jane Lu, Vikas Kumar, Robert Hoskisson


Business groups are prevalent in both developed and emerging markets (Ghemawat & Khanna, 1998) and constitute the dominant organizational form in many emerging markets (Chung & Luo, 2008; Khanna & Rivkin, 2001). Scholars have utilized multiple theoretical perspectives, including institutional economics, sociology and resource-based view to define, characterize and comprehend business groups. Business groups play an important role in emerging markets by filling institutional voids and creating their own internal capital, labor and product markets (Khanna & Palepu, 2000a). There are important differences between group affiliated and unaffiliated firms in emerging economies, in terms of their underlying resource base and embeddedness in the institutional and social fabric of the local market. To add to this complexity, institutional environments in emerging economies are constantly evolving and thereby impacting strategy, particularly of organizations such as business groups that are highly embedded in the domestic context (Hoskisson, Eden, Lau, & Wright, 2000; Hoskisson, Wright, Filatotchev, & Peng, 2013). Internationalization of business group firms under such tumultuous conditions presents a rich context for advancing internationalization theory and, in particular, contributing to a better understanding of the strategic adaptation of emerging market firms.


The extant literature on business group has primarily focused on how groups as a whole and/or firms affiliated to groups perform in their home countries (e.g. Chacar & Vissa, 2005; Chang, Chung, & Mahmood, 2006; Douma, George, & Kabir, 2006; Khanna & Palepu, 2000a; 2000b; Khanna & Rivkin, 2001). There are only a few studies that have explored the impact that affiliation to a business group has on the degree of internationalization of the focal firm, and present inconclusive findings (e.g. Chang, 1995; Kim, Kim, & Hoskisson, 2010). Examining not only institutional differences but also factor market difference between home and host countries also seems to matter with regard to internationalization from emerging economies (Kim, Hoskisson, & Lee, 2014). In the wake of the recent widespread and accelerated internationalization of emerging market firms, including many that are affiliated to larger business groups, the internationalization of business group affiliated firms warrants a deeper and systematic investigation from a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches.


As emerging economies develop and become mid-range economies (Hoskisson, et al., 2013), how does this change the nature of business groups and their internationalization strategies. Do they restructure their portfolios as transaction cost theory would imply (Hoskisson, Johnson, Tihanyi, & White, 2005)? Do they substitute domestic product diversification for more internationalization (Meyer, 2006)? How are they structured and governed differently (Chittoor, Kale, Puranam, 2014) as the country settings change and as they pursue increased innovation and internationalization (Yiu, Hoskisson, Bruton, Lu, 2014)? How does government ownership influence their corporate and internationalization strategies (White, Hoskisson, Yiu, & Bruton, 2008)?


Many studies simply use dummies to distinguish group affiliates from independent firms. This approach assumes all affiliates benefit equally, which is questionable due to differences in value capture.  For example, research shows that affiliate firms differ in their ability to capture benefits from internationalization; in this study more powerful group firms benefit from internationalization compared to less powerful affiliates (Wan, Hoskisson, & Kim, 2004). However, we have limited understanding of differences in power and of value capture among affiliates because few scholars examine heterogeneity among group affiliates.


The special issue solicits scholarly contributions that provide a finer-grained analysis of the internationalization of business group affiliated firms from emerging markets, encapsulating the unique attributes of business groups as well as that of the institutional and cultural contexts where they prosper. The following is an illustrative list of questions:


1.     How is the efficacy of business groups affected due to the rapidly changing institutional environment in EEs?

2.     Business groups are social structures deeply embedded in the broader institutional environment of EEs. How does this embeddnesses affect the internationalization propensity of their affiliates?

3.     What are the similarities and differences between business groups from different emerging economies as well as developed economies and how do these similarities/differences affect their internationalization behavior?

4.     How are business groups organized and managed differently in different country institutional and factor market settings? What organizational transformation are business groups undergoing to respond to the changes in the external institutional environment?

5.     What are the unique resources and capabilities of business groups?  How do these capabilities help group affiliated firms in internationalization?

6.     Are the advantages and/or disadvantages of affiliation to business group context-dependent?  How do individual business affiliate firms benefit more or less from group affiliation?

7.     Do advantages and/or disadvantages transfer to foreign markets when EE firms internationalize their operations?

8.     How do business groups extend their group like structure in foreign markets?

9.     How does the presence of a business group in an industry affect the industry-wide innovation and internationalization?

10.  How do the foreign market entry modes different between group affiliated and unaffiliated firms?


We encourage potential contributors to examine the internationalization of business groups from different theoretical perspectives and empirical approaches, including multi-level models and case studies.  Authors should not merely be testing the existing theories in the context of business groups, but make use of the novel context to develop new theories and explanations, and thereby enrich our understanding of firm internationalization behavior in general, and of business group internationalization behavior in particular.


Submission Process:


By March 1, 2015 all manuscripts should be submitted using the online submission system.  The link for submitting manuscript is:


To ensure that all manuscripts are correctly identified for consideration for this Special Issue, it is important that authors select ‘SI: Business Groups’ when they reach the “Article Type” step in the submission process.


We may organize a workshop designed to facilitate the development of papers. Authors of manuscripts that have progressed through the revision process will be invited to it. Presentation at the workshop is neither a requirement for nor a promise of final acceptance of the paper in the Special Issue.


Questions about the special issue may be directed to any of the following guest editors:


Ajai Gaur, Rutgers University, USA [log in to unmask]   

Jane Lu, University of Melbourne, Australia [log in to unmask] 

Vikas Kumar, University of Sydney, Australia [log in to unmask]

Robert E. Hoskisson, Rice University [log in to unmask]




Chacar, A., & Vissa, B. (2005). Are emerging economies less efficient? Performance persistence and the impact of business group affiliation. Strategic Management Journal, 26(10): 933-946.

Chang, S.J. (1995). International expansion strategy of Japanese firms: capability building through sequential entry.  Academy of Management Journal, 38(2): 383-407.

Chang, S., Chung, C., & Mahmood, I.P. (2006). When and how does business group affiliation promote firm innovation? A tale of two emerging economies. Organization Science, 17(5): 637-656.

Chittoor, R., Kale, P., & Puranam, P. (2014). Business groups in developing capital markets:  Towards a complementarity perspective.  Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming.

Chung, C., & Luo, X. (2008). Human agents, contexts, and institutional change: the decline of family in the leadership of business groups. Organization Science, 19(1): 124-142.

Douma, S., George, R., & Kabir, R. (2006). Foreign and domestic ownership, business groups, and firm performance: evidence from a large emerging market. Strategic Management Journal, 27(7): 637-657.

Ghemawat, P., & Khanna, T. (1998). The nature of diversified business groups: a research design and two case studies.  Journal of Industrial Economics, 46(1): 35-61.

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

Hoskisson, R. E., Johnson, R. A., Tihanyi, L. & White, R. E. (2005). Diversified business groups and corporate refocusing in emerging economies. Journal of Management, 31: 941-965.

Hoskisson, R.E., Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Peng, M. (2013). Emerging multinationals from mid-range economies: The influence of institutions and factor markets. Journal of Management Studies, 50(7): 1295-1321.

Khanna, T., & Palepu, K. (2000a). Is group affiliation profitable in emerging markets? An analysis of diversified Indian business groups. Journal of Finance, 55(2): 867-891.

Khanna, T., & Palepu, K. (2000b). The future of business groups in emerging markets: long-run evidence from Chile. Academy of Management Journal, 43(3): 268-285.

Khanna, T., & Rivkin, J.W. (2001). Estimating the performance effects of business groups in emerging markets. Strategic Management Journal, 22(1): 45-74.

Kim, H., Hoskisson, R.E., & Lee, S.-H. (2014). Why strategic factor markets matter: ‘New’ multinationals’ geographic diversification and firm profitability. Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming.

Kim, H., Kim, H., & Hoskisson, R.E. (2010). Does market-oriented institutional change in an emerging economy make business-group-affiliated multinationals perform better? An institution based view. Journal of International Business Studies, 41: 1141-1160.

Meyer, K.E. (2006). Globalfocusing: From domestic conglomerate to global specialist. Journal of Management Studies, 43(5): 1109-1144.

Kim, H., Hoskisson, R. E. & Wan, W. P. 2004. Power dependence, diversification strategy and performance in keiretsu member firms, Strategic Management Journal, 25: 613-636.

White, R. E., Hoskisson, R. E., Yiu, D. & Bruton, G. (2008). Employment and market innovation in Chinese business group-affiliated firms: The role of group control systems, Management and Organization Review, 4: 225-256.

Yiu, D. Hoskisson, R. E., Bruton, G. & Lu, Y. (2014). Dueling institutional logics and the effect on strategic entrepreneurship in Chinese business groups. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 8(3): 195-213.

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