Emerging Multinationals: Management styles, typologies
- Dilek Zamantili Nayir (Marmara University, Turkey)
- Vlad Vaiman (Reykjavik University, Iceland)
The study of a multinational company (MNC) has been a fundamental component of the international business literature. While there have been significant variations in the strategies and structures of MNCs from different advanced regions, they have tended to share technological, marketing, and managerial strengths, enabling them to overcome the so-called liability of foreignness in a variety of markets. They have invested for the most part in wholly or majority-owned subsidiaries, transferred technology, products, and knowledge from headquarters to their operations around the world, and relied on elaborate bureaucratic mechanisms and financial controls (Guillen and Garcia-Canal, 2009).
Recent years have seen the emergence of a growing number of MNCs from emerging economies as diverse as Brazil, China, Korea, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Turkey (Goldstein et al, 2006). Whereas these firms have essentially had humble beginnings, some of them have become global leaders in the meantime (Li and Kozhikode, 2008; Guillen and Garcia-Canal, 2009). The new MNCs operate internationally using entry modes such as alliances, joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries. Some of them are small and product focused and others are large and diversified (Guillen and Garcia-Canal, 2009). The literature has referred to them as “thirdworld multinationals” (Wells, 1983), “latecomer firms” (Mathews, 2002), “unconventional multinationals” (Li, 2003), “challengers” (BCG, 2008), and “emerging multinationals” (Accenture, 2008; Goldstein, 2007).
In spite of the interest in the topic of emerging multinationals as such, the academic literature is still based on the observation of firms from the so-called Triad (i.e. US, EU and Japan). Only recently a growing strand of literature has begun to question the phenomenon (Li, 2003). The Journal of International Business Studies (2007), the Journal of International Management (2007), the International Journal of Technology and Globalization (2008) and Industrial and Corporate Change (2009), for example, have dedicated special issues to the topic (Amighini et al, 2007). Although these issues have indeed published some very interesting pieces of work on emerging multinationals, those studies have largely focused on the nature of their competitive advantage, motivations, investment development paths and internationalization patterns (Amighini et al, 2007). This has also been the case for books published on the topic. For example, while Sauvant (2009) has comprehensively analyzed the rise and features of emerging multinationals, managerial aspects typical in these types of companies have not explicitly been dealt with. Also Ramamurti and Singh (2009) have asked why so many firms in emerging economies have internationalized so aggressively in the last decade, what competitive advantages these firms enjoy, and what the origins of those advantages are; however, their work has also largely neglected numerous management perspectives.
In academic studies, attempts to understand emerging multinationals have originated primarily from the “developed world” towards “developing countries”. Developing economies have been studied in their relation to investors and corporations expanding into them. Radhakrishnan (1994) has referred to this focus as the “I think therefore you are” syndrome. Genuine developments of emerging multinationals have been subsumed under the overarching explanatory power of Western theories. This attitude has inadvertently affected management and leadership studies. Western management has been regarded as a universal norm, and non-western management practices have been judged against this norm. The proponents of the so-called convergence hypothesis (e.g., Kerr et al, 1960) have argued that management systems would converge towards the models originating from the U.S. From this starting point, patterns in other countries have been viewed either as derivative of, or deviations from, the U.S. model (Locke et al, 1995). MNCs from developed countries have been given the status of ‘mainstream’, and emerging multinationals have been regarded as ‘unconventional’.
In recent years, it has been realized that many of the Western management practices and managerial styles cannot be transplanted exactly in the same manner to other culture and country contexts. Western management literature presents a model of organizational life that may or may not be appropriate in a non-Western business context. This is especially true for emerging multinationals. When Western management theories are applied directly, they may not match the local and cultural understanding of managerial problems and functions in non-Western MNCs. For example, unlike Western management theories, which emphasize delegation, empowerment, and power sharing as key component of effective leadership, research in many developing countries show that a more directive and autocratic management style is accepted and even legitimized (Badawy, 1980; Hofstede, 1984, Dia, 1994). Whereas especially the American view on management tends to overplay the influence of the top manager (Meindl, Ehrlich, and Dukerich, 1985; Meindl and Ehrlich, 1987), paternalism is valued and found in many developing nations (e.g., Dorfman and Howell, 1988). Similarly, counter to Western management paradigms which emphasize consistency and logic, research on management in many developing countries shows that behaving in accordance with the manager's beliefs, personalized and informal methods of conducting interpersonal business affairs and face saving are accepted as personal qualities of effective leaders (Abdullah, 1996).
In this book, we aspire to provide a new vantage point to management in emerging multinationals.
Our aim is to create a state-of-the-art overview of management in emerging multinationals, from the point of view of these organizations themselves. We want to identify an analytic typology of cultural characteristics in order to interpret differing approaches to rationality, motivation, ethics and interpersonal relationships in a managerial context. We aim to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of various managerial approaches in different national contexts. Readers of the book will better understand the interplay among country and company cultures, corporate strategy, as well as individual differences in an emerging country´s MNCs. We will also be able to evaluate the generalizability of models from Western cultures in a more balanced manner. To summarize, in Marsden’s words (1991, p. 36), it is our aim to “… begin from where the people are, rather than from where development (and management) experts would like them to be…”.
The chapters included in this book can potentially make significant contributions to the theory and practice of management of MNCs by facilitating our understanding of universally applicable theories and concepts. The book will target students and researchers of international business and postgraduate students in such courses as international management, cross-cultural studies, and international business.
Topics covered include but are not limited to:
- Cultural congruence and cultural differences in the interpretation of management in emerging country MNC’s
- Traits, skills and styles of managers in emerging country MNC’s
- General leadership styles of managers from emerging multinationals;
- Motivation techniques of managers from emerging multinationals;
- Communication and decision making styles;
- Control mechanisms (management of processes and outputs);
- Value orientations and ethical dimensions of managers from emerging multinationals;
- Negotiation styles of and between managers in emerging multinationals;
Multinational applications of generic strategies in emerging multinationals;
- Societal culture: Influences on organizational culture in emerging multinational contexts
We are looking to include both conceptual and empirical papers in this edited book. Relevant case study examples are also welcome.
Notes for Potential Authors
Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. All papers are refereed through a peer-review process. Please be prepared to review and comment on some of the submitted articles for this book.
- Deadline for submissions of extended abstracts: March 30, 2010
- Deadline for submissions of completed papers: July 1, 2010
- Double blind review of papers and feedback from review given to the author(s) by: September 30, 2010
- Deadline for final submission of corrected papers: December 15, 2010
- No changes can be made to the papers after: January 15, 2011
Editors and Notes
You may send one copy in the form of an MS Word file attached to an e-mail (details in Author Guidelines) to both the following: