Journal of Business Research Call for Papers– Emerging Market MNCs: Post Acquisition Strategies

Guest Editors:

Professor Mehmet Demirbag, University of Essex, UK, Professor Attila Yaprak, Wayne State University, USA, and Professor Geoffrey Wood, University of Essex, UK

Multinational companies (MNCs) from the developing and emerging economies have grown dramatically in recent years in volume, size and scope. For example, while only 19 firms from emerging and developing economies were featured in the Fortune Global 500 list in 1990, this number increased to 137 in 2015 (excluding South Korea and Singapore). Amongst these global challengers, some have even grown to be the market leaders in their respective industries. In terms of overall revenue, for instance, Huwei technologies and ZTE, both of China, are now the second and the fifth-largest global manufacturers of telecom equipment. Similarly, Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo is the largest bread maker in the world and Russia’s United Company Rusal is the largest aluminium producer globally (Boston Consulting Group, 2012).  The 2015 list of the Forbes Global 2000 included 562 companies from emerging countries (Forbes, 2015). As the profiles of emerging economies increase, so will their influence, and the global ranking of their MNCs.  Many observers view these companies not only as the hidden engines of global trade and economic growth in the near future, but as part and parcel of fundamental changes in the global economic system, and, indeed, in relative national political leverage (BCG, 2012).


There is a foundation of work that deals explicitly with the expansion of Emerging Market Multinational Corporations (EMNCs); examples would include Lecraw (1977), Wells (1983) and Lall (1983). More recent studies in the 2000s accelerated this foundational work, including contributions by Khanna and Palepu (2006 and 2010); Ramamurti and Singh (2009); Meyer (2004); Mathews (2006); Luo and Tung (2007); Sheth (2008); Cuervo-Cazzura and colleagues (e.g., Cuervo-Cazzura and Genc 2008); Buckley and colleagues (e.g., Buckley et al 2008), Demirbag and colleagues (Demirbag et al., 2009; Demirbag et al., 2010a; Demirbag et al., 2010b; Demirbag and Yaprak, 2015), Jormanainen and Koveshnikov (2012) and Narula (2012). Although emerging markets are not a homogeneous group of countries, there appears to be some common dimensions in the recent upsurge of internationalization of firms from these countries. For instance, some common challenges these firms face include a liability of emergingness due to their country of origin, existing knowledge gaps between themselves and multinational corporations from the developed countries (DMNCs), their poor image in terms of corporate social responsibility, and at times, controversial political relations in the developed markets. At the same time, common contributions they have made to the new economic order include the new business models, insights, and energy they have begun to inject into the new global ecosystem.


It is argued that the challenges EMNCs face motivate them to follow an accelerated internationalization strategy through aggressive outward FDI, especially in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&As). M&As are seen as strategic vehicles that help EMNCs acquire and possess tangible and/or intangible strategic assets to compensate for their competitive disadvantages in being latecomers to international business and lacking the resources and advanced capabilities required for success in the international arena  (Luo and Tung, 2007; Rui and Yip, 2008; Deng, 2010; Zhong et al, 2013). That is, M&As are perceived as effective mechanisms to catch up with developed market MNCs (Madhok and Keyhani, 2012), secure established brands, and gain quick access to advanced technology (Demirbag et al., 2009; Luo and Tung, 2007, Nair and Demirbag, 2015; Nair et al., 2015a; 2015b). In comparison with strategic alliances and JVs, M&As give EMNCs more direct control over the operation of, and the returns from, these acquired strategic assets and offer significant value-creation opportunities that may not otherwise be available to them (Athreye and Godley, 2009; Rabbiosi et al 2012).


While EMNCs are gaining a strong foothold in the global economy, we know very little about their post entry activities such as integration and associated processes and post-merger innovation trajectories, their reallocation of production, and reconfiguration of marketing strategies. The international business literature has focused primarily on Western MNCs. With relatively lower levels of international experience, it is possible that EMNCs will face profoundly different challenges when compared to their Western economy counterparts These include negative country of origin perceptions and heightened levels of consumer ethnocentrism which may reflect unfavourably on their products, brands, and marketing strategies. . This special issue is dedicated to publishing conceptual and empirical research that will focus explicitly on these kinds of issues; that is, work that examines the post entry and growth strategies and post-acquisition integration and associated processes in acquired subsidiaries of EMNCs.


Aims and Key Issues

The aim of this special issue is to shed new light on what happens when firms headquartered in the mature markets are taken over by EMNC.  The proposed issue seeks to bring together the work of leading scholars from various disciplines, present recently synthesized work, and in-depth analyses of MNCs from emerging economies.  Potential topics the special issue will address will include (but are not be limited to):

-   Evolution of EMNCs through FDI, and the theoretical implications of this evolution

-   Conceptualizations of internationalisation strategies exhibited by EMNCs in contrast to Western MNCs

-   Motives for international market expansion and internationalization patterns of EMNCs

-   Market entry strategies of EMNCs: Location choice and entry mode

-   Acquisitions and post-acquisition strategies of EMNCs: Innovation

-   Acquisitions and post-acquisition strategies of EMNCs: Location and strategies of production

-   Acquisitions and post-acquisition strategies of EMNCs: HRM policies and practice

-   Acquisitions and post-acquisition strategies of EMNCs: Supply chain and logistics

-   The implications of emergingness on EMNCs’ competitiveness and performance

-   Global expansion strategies of EMNCs: diversification and performance

-   Mature market home country institutions and implications for competitive strategies of EMNCs

-   Multiple institutional locales and corporate governance of EMNCs

-   State Owned EMNCs and their global expansion strategies

-   EMNCs and sovereign wealth Funds

-   Country of origin image and EMNCs

-   Politics, diplomacy and EMNCs

-   Post-acquisition marketing and branding strategies of EMNCs

-   Customers’ perceptions of, and reactions to, products produced/branded by EMNCs.

-   People management and HRM strategies of EMNCs in acquired mature market firms

-   Knowledge management and knowledge transfer in EMNCs

-   Emerging Market MNCs, mergers, acquisitions and CSR


The special issue will undergo the normal rigorous, double-blind review process to ensure relevance and quality in contributions. The key criteria for acceptance of manuscripts are (1) relevance to the theme of the special issue, (2) scholarly rigor shown in the question addressed, and (3) the theoretical managerial, and/or policy contribution to the field. Submitted papers must be based on original work and not under consideration at any journal or other scholarly outlet.


Prospective authors with questions concerning the potential suitability of topics, Editors’ expectations, or additional requirements about this special issue are invited to contact the guest editors by email: Mehmet Demirbag: [log in to unmask]; Attila Yaprak: [log in to unmask]; or Geoffrey Wood: [log in to unmask].


Submission deadline: November 30, 2016. Notification of acceptance by: June 1, 2017


Guest Editors’ Contact Details:

                        Prof. Mehmet Demirbag,

Professor of International Business and Deputy Dean

University of Essex Business School

Elmer Approach


SS1 1LW, United Kingdom E.mail. [log in to unmask]

Tel: +44 (0)1702 328200


Professor Attila Yaprak

Professor of Marketing and International Business

Mike Ilitch School of Business, Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan 48202,

USA Email: [log in to unmask]   Tel: +01 734-730-4240


Professor Geoffrey Wood

Professor of International Business and Dean, Essex Business School

University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park

Colchester CO3SQ

United Kingdom E-Mail: [log in to unmask] Tel: +44 (0) 1206 872375



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