Accelerated Internationalisation by Emerging Multinationals: the Case of White Goods Sector
The emergence of a "second wave" of developing-country multinational enterprises (MNEs) in a variety of industries is one of the characterizing features of globalization. These new MNEs did not delay their internationalisation until they were large, as did most of their predecessors, and often become global as a result of direct firm-to-firm contracting. Many grow large as they internationalise conversely, they internationalise in order to grow large. This is a striking pattern which, if confirmed, indicates that enterprises from developing countries have pursued distinctive approaches to internationalisation. It is a further interesting hypothesis to investigate to what extent such firms, born as suppliers of established incumbents, have leveraged on their "latecomer" status to accelerate their internationalisation. This paper documents how emerging MNEs may follow quite different patterns to reach, or at least approach, global competitiveness. In particular, it investigates how three latecomer MNEs pursued global growth through accelerated internationalisation combined with strategic and organizational innovation. Haier (China), Mabe (Mexico) and Arcelik (Turkey) emerged as Dragon Multinationals in the large home appliances (so-called "white goods") industry. This is a producer-driven global value chain, characterized by mature technology and rapid delocalization to developing countries, where not only input costs are lower, but demand growth rates are higher - giving a decided latecomer advantage to these MNEs. Haier, Mabe and Arçelik leveraged their strategic partnership with established MNEs to upgrade their operations, evolving from the production of simple goods, into new product lines developed through their own design, branding and marketing capabilities. The recipe of their success has been the ability to treat global competition as an opportunity to build capabilities, move into more profitable industry segments, and adopt strategies that turn latecomer status into a source of competitive advantage. At the same time, their experiences show that there are many strategies and trajectories for going global.
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