Becoming a Multilatina: strategic capabilities as necessary conditions for the internationalization of Latin American firms

Hermans, Michel, Borda, Armando, Newburry, William, Cordova Chea, Carlos Oswaldo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8797-995X, Finchelstein, Diego, Gonzalez-Perez, Maria Alejandra, Montoya-Bayardo, Miguel A., Velasco, Gerardo and Velez-Ocampo, Juan (2024) Becoming a Multilatina: strategic capabilities as necessary conditions for the internationalization of Latin American firms. European Business Review, 36 (1). pp. 50-70. ISSN 0955-534X

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Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to challenge the generic interpretation of Multilatinas as Latin American firms that have been able to internationalize because of highly competitive strategic capabilities. The authors test whether capabilities that international business researchers commonly associate with internationalization are necessary at different stages of the internationalization process to better understand the extent to which emerging market (EM) firms need to develop them. Design/methodology/approach: International business research suggests a positive association between strategic capabilities and firm internalization. However, it remains unclear what specific capabilities are necessary and when they are necessary. These questions are particularly important in the context of the internationalization of firms from emerging economies, such as Latin America. The authors apply necessary condition analysis (NCA) on a sample of Latin American firms at different internationalization stages to test what strategic capabilities represent necessary conditions for becoming a Multilatina. Findings: The findings suggest that only a few strategic capabilities are necessary for Latin American firms to become “Multilatinas”. While entrepreneurial orientation and marketing and sales capabilities represent necessary conditions, EM firms may internationalize even though other capabilities are developed to a lesser extent. The authors reflect on how shifts in local markets and technology drive the emergence of different types of Multilatinas. Research limitations/implications: Measuring strategic capabilities across multiple EM firms implies a risk that firm-specific aspects are not fully captured. While the authors focused on the comparative competitive strength of capabilities and took great care to minimize measurement error, the authors acknowledge possible bias. Also, while NCA does not require a minimum sample size, findings from our sample of firms from four countries may not generalize to the region or other EMs. Originality/value: As a relatively new statistical technique, the use of NCA has spread rapidly. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the linkage between organizational capabilities and firm internationalization has not been tested from a necessary conditions perspective yet. The reflections on the “Multilatina” concept based on the notion of EM firms as configurations of strategic capabilities inform current debates on EM multinational enterprises.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The authors developed this study within the context of the larger research project “Building strategic capabilities in emerging markets”, initiated by Professors Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, William Newburry and Seung Ho Park. Authors acknowledge and appreciate their support. Publisher Copyright: © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: emerging market multinational enterprise (emne),firm internationalization,latin america,multilatina,necessary condition analysis (nca),organizational capabilities,business and international management,business, management and accounting (miscellaneous) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1403
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 11:31
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 11:31
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95190
DOI: 10.1108/EBR-02-2023-0040

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