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Qualitative personal interviews in international business research: Some lessons from a study of Hong Kong Transnational Corporations


  • Yeung, Henry Wai-chung


This paper is concerned with the role of qualitative personal interviews in international business research. Based on an ongoing research into more than 120 transnational corporations from Hong Kong and more than 60 of their subsidiaries and/or affiliates in Southeast Asia, I argue that the qualitative personal interview method is a much better technique than other common techniques in international business research such as postal surveys and telephone interviews. This argument is particularly relevant when the research is conducted in an urban context and the objective is to probe deeply into the processes and mechanisms of international business. Another dimension of the qualitative personal interview method is that it provides much flexibility both in the conduct of data collection and subsequent analysis. This advantage proves to be critical to international business research because of the changing context of research and concern with business firms operating simultaneously in several geographical locations.

Suggested Citation

  • Yeung, Henry Wai-chung, 1995. "Qualitative personal interviews in international business research: Some lessons from a study of Hong Kong Transnational Corporations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 313-339, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:4:y:1995:i:3:p:313-339

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. W-C H Yeung, 1994. "Hong Kong firms in the ASEAN region: transnational corporations and foreign direct investment," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(12), pages 1931-1956, December.
    2. John H Dunning, 1989. "The Study of International Business: A Plea for a More Interdisciplinary Approach," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 20(3), pages 411-436, September.
    3. W-C H Yeung, 1994. "Hong Kong Firms in the ASEAN Region: Transnational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 26(12), pages 1931-1956, December.
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    1. Hong, Jacky Fok Loi & Snell, Robin Stanley & Easterby-Smith, Mark, 2009. "Knowledge flow and boundary crossing at the periphery of a MNC," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 539-554, December.
    2. Lauring, Jakob & Selmer, Jan, 2010. "The supportive expatriate spouse: An ethnographic study of spouse involvement in expatriate careers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 59-69, February.
    3. Micheline Riemsdijk, 2013. "Talent Acquisition in the IT Industry in Bangalore: A Multi-Level Study," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 104(4), pages 478-490, September.
    4. Javier Cuervo & Low Sui Pheng, 2005. "Significance of internalization factors for Singapore transnational construction corporations," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 147-162.
    5. Gabriela ANTONESCU & Cristina Maria PARTAL & Sorin P. ANGHELUȚĂ, 2014. "The Dimension Of Romanian Tourism Development," Revista de turism - studii si cercetari in turism / Journal of tourism - studies and research in tourism, "Stefan cel Mare" University of Suceava, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Public Administration - Economy, Business Administration and Tourism Department., vol. 17(17), pages 69-74, June.
    6. Khakhar, Priyan & Rammal, Hussain Gulzar, 2013. "Culture and business networks: International business negotiations with Arab managers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 578-590.
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    8. Kriz, Anton & Keating, Byron W., 2010. "Business relationships in China: Lessons about deep trust," MPRA Paper 40427, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Welch, Catherine & Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca & Penttinen, Heli & Tahvanainen, Marja, 2002. "Corporate elites as informants in qualitative international business research," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 611-628, October.
    10. Zheng, Nan & Wei, Yingqi & Zhang, Yabin & Yang, Jingjing, 2016. "In search of strategic assets through cross-border merger and acquisitions: Evidence from Chinese multinational enterprises in developed economies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 177-186.
    11. Harzing, Anne-Wil, 1997. "Response rates in international mail surveys: Results of a 22-country study," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 641-665, December.
    12. Makhmadshoev, Dilshod & Ibeh, Kevin & Crone, Mike, 2015. "Institutional influences on SME exporters under divergent transition paths: Comparative insights from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1025-1038.
    13. Oetzel, Jennifer, 2005. "Smaller may be beautiful but is it more risky? Assessing and managing political and economic risk in Costa Rica," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 765-790, December.
    14. Hong, Jacky F.L. & Nguyen, Thang V., 2009. "Knowledge embeddedness and the transfer mechanisms in multinational corporations," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 347-356, October.


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