Rules of the game for emerging market multinational companies from China and India

Tanvi Kothari*, Masaaki Kotabe, Priscilla Murphy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The prominence of Emerging Market Multinational Companies (EMNCs) in the global marketplace has challenged our assumptions about the nature of global competition and corresponding strategy. We use an inductive approach to conduct historical analysis of eight companies that originated from key emerging markets viz China and India. We examine the various strategies that EMNCs devise to circumvent the resource challenges faced in their home markets and develop routines and key capabilities that lead to their competitive advantage in developed nations. Our results suggest that EMNCs' foreign expansion is, on the one hand, based on their capability to acquire resources and absorb them to build their own advantage (supply-side-argument). On the other hand, it is also based on EMNCs' capability to find some market niches, i.e., entering into markets untapped by traditional MNCs (demand-side-argument). Finally, based on our analysis we propose a dynamic stages model suggesting that EMNCs' foreign expansion can be explained in three stages - licking the dirt to carve out the way; taking off with speed and strength; and around the world with excellence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-299
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of International Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • EMNC capabilities
  • Emerging Market Multinational Companies (EMNCs)
  • Foreign expansion strategy
  • Historical analysis
  • Innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Rules of the game for emerging market multinational companies from China and India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this