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Overcoming the liability of foreignness without strong firm capabilities -- the value of market-based resources

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  • Barnard, Helena

Abstract

The concept of "liability of foreignness" -- the costs of doing business abroad -- has been known and discussed since the mid-1970s. At the core of these discussions is the role that firm capabilities play in overcoming or limiting these costs. This raises the question of how firms with inappropriate, limited or constrained capabilities relative to their host environment overcome the liability of foreignness. This paper focuses on the subsidiaries of "emerging multinationals" and how they manage the demands of a technologically and economically highly developed host country. A host location with sophisticated markets and well-developed institutional infrastructure may be a highly challenging environment for firms that have grown their organizational capabilities in less developed contexts. This paper explores that situation and considers how resources available on the market -- for example through supplier inputs -- assist subsidiaries to benefit from their presence in a munificent location. Despite the acknowledged limitations of a transaction-based approach, this paper presents evidence that purchasing knowledge provides an accessible strategy for overcoming some liabilities of foreignness.

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  • Barnard, Helena, 2010. "Overcoming the liability of foreignness without strong firm capabilities -- the value of market-based resources," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 165-176, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:165-176
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Denk, Nikola & Kaufmann, Lutz & Roesch, Jan-Frederik, 2012. "Liabilities of Foreignness Revisited: A Review of Contemporary Studies and Recommendations for Future Research," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, pages 322-334.
    2. Conti, Claudio Ramos & Parente, Ronaldo & de Vasconcelos, Flávio C., 2016. "When distance does not matter: Implications for Latin American multinationals," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1980-1992.
    3. Keeran Kowlaser & Helena Barnard, 2016. "Tie Breadth, Tie Strength And The Location Of Ties: The Value Of Ties Inside An Emerging Mnc To Team Innovation," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(01), pages 1-31, January.
    4. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11575-016-0287-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chaminade , Cristina & Padilla Pérez , Ramón, 2014. "The challenge of alignment and barriers for the design and implementation of science, technology and innovation policies for innovation systems in developing countries," Papers in Innovation Studies 2014/26, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    6. Alcantara, Lailani Laynesa & Mitsuhashi, Hitoshi, 2012. "Make-or-Break Decisions in Choosing Foreign Direct Investment Locations," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, pages 335-351.
    7. Boehe, Dirk Michael, 2011. "Exploiting the liability of foreignness: Why do service firms exploit foreign affiliate networks at home?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 15-29, March.
    8. repec:spr:manint:v:52:y:2012:i:5:d:10.1007_s11575-011-0115-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Geleilate, José-Mauricio G. & Magnusson, Peter & Parente, Ronaldo C. & Alvarado-Vargas, Marcelo J., 2016. "Home Country Institutional Effects on the Multinationality–Performance Relationship: A Comparison Between Emerging and Developed Market Multinationals," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, pages 380-402.
    10. repec:eee:iburev:v:26:y:2017:i:6:p:1157-1167 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Zhong, Weiguo & Peng, Jisheng & Liu, Chunlin, 2013. "Internationalization performance of Chinese multinational companies in the developed markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(12), pages 2479-2484.
    12. Maruyama, Masayoshi & Wu, Lihui, 2015. "Overcoming the Liability of Foreignness in International Retailing: A Consumer Perspective," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, pages 200-210.

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