Richard Ivey Building 3339
- International Business
- Global strategy
- Foreign direct investment
- Internationalization processes
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Foreign entry strategies
- Impact of foreign investment on host economies
- Institutional theory
- Emerging economies
- Multinational enterprises from emerging economies
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Klaus E. Meyer is Professor of International Business at Ivey Business School. He joined in 2017 after six years at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai.
Professor Meyer is a leading scholar in the field of international business conducting research on the strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs), especially foreign entry strategies, in emerging economies, especially Eastern Europe and East Asia. A central theme of his research is the influence of local contexts on the strategies and operations of MNEs operating in emerging economies. Recent work is investigating the strategies of MNEs originating from emerging economies, in particular China, and how their origins shape their international growth strategies.
He has published over 70 articles in leading scholarly journals, in particular in Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Management Journal and Journal of Management Studies, and he published five books, including the textbook “International Business” (with Mike Peng, published by Cengage Learning, 2nd ed., 2016). He is serving as Area Editor of the Journal of International Business Studies since July 2016. In 2012-2014, he was Vice President of the AIB and chaired the 2014 AIB conference in Vancouver, Canada.
- Internationalization (MSc)
- Competing in and with China (MSc)
- PhD, London Business School
- MSc, Göttingen
Recent Refereed Articles
Li, J.; Meyer, K. E.; Zhang, H.; Ding, Y.,
(Forthcoming), "Diplomatic and corporate networks: Bridges to foreign locations", Journal of International Business Studies.
Abstract: Firms and governments operate in broad networks in which the home government and its diplomatic service are a critical node or a referral point between firms and potential partners in foreign locations. Thus diplomatic relations between countries matter for the choice of foreign investment location. Using a network perspective, we argue that the extent to which good diplomatic relations induce firms to invest in friendly host countries depends on their political connections to home governments. Those with stronger ties to home governments can better access and leverage intergovernmental diplomatic connections, thus benefiting potentially from enhanced access to information, reduced political risks, and increased legitimacy. Such ability of politically connected firms is more useful where weak institutional impartiality in the host country inhibits neutral treatment of foreign investors. Empirically, using overseas investment location decisions by Chinese firms, we find that the types of home government ties (i.e., whether they are organizational or personal and whether those relationships are with central or local goverments) and the impartiality of host institutions are both important contingencies affecting firms’ utilization of diplomatic relations. We discuss the implications of our study to research on network theory, political ties, and internationalization of emerging market firms.
Meyer, K. E.; Xin, K.,
(Forthcoming), "Managing Talent in Emerging Economy Multinationals: Integrating Strategic Management and Human Resource Management", International Journal of Human Resource Management.
Abstract: Having established their first overseas operation, the next big challenge for many emerging economy multinational enterprises (EMNEs) is to align their HRs with their strategic ambition. Their lack of internationally experienced talent has become a major obstacle to strategy implementation: they need to fill leadership roles with international responsibility based abroad and at home, and they need to develop talent for future international leadership roles. The key challenge for catch-up strategies thus is to attract, develop, and retain talents who can lead international operations. In this paper, we develop a research agenda on strategic management and HRM in EMNEs that aims to explain the obstacles EMNEs face and facilitates the development of better talent management practice. In particular, we propose to integrate strategic management and HRM perspectives not only to advance theories but to enhance the relevance of both lines of scholarship to practice.
Link(s) to publication:
Meyer, K. E.,
2018, "Catch-Up and Leapfrogging: Emerging Economy Multinational Enterprises on the Global Stage", International Journal of the Economics of Business, February 25(1): 19 - 30.
Abstract: Over the past decade, emerging economy (EE) multinational enterprises (MNEs), especially from China, have been aggressively catching up with global leaders, often by acquiring companies in advanced economies. This raises the question if and how theories of the MNE should be adjusted. I argue that the nature of their firm-specific advantages differs and, in consequence, their motives, strategies and operations. Also the institutional and policy environment is more complex. Yet, the phenomenon of EE MNEs can largely be explained through appropriate application of existing theories. However, important research questions remain with respect to the implementation of catch-up strategies, the role of the policy environment, and the performance implications.
Link(s) to publication:
Santangelo, G.; Meyer, K. E.,
2017, "Internationalization as an evolutionary process", Journal of International Business Studies, December 48(9): 1114 - 1130.
Abstract: The Johanson and Vahlne model of internationalization has been the main foundation of process research in international business since 1977. This model, also known as the Uppsala model, provides a useful general framework for interpreting firm-level processes increasing (and occasionally decreasing) resources committed to international operations. However, the model does not provide theoretical explanations of non-linear and discontinuous dynamics of the process over time, nor does it offer testable propositions. We focus on the longitudinal dimension of internationalization, specifically path-breaking commitments that increase a firm’s exposure to risk. On this basis, we examine the idea that the IP model represents an evolutionary process. By emphasizing the role of novelty and introducing selection mechanisms, we explain non-linear and discontinuous dynamics of internationalization processes. Path-breaking resource commitments create novelty and deviate from a gradual path of growth as firms take higher risks, and hence face more intensive selection pressures. In consequence, firms are more likely to experience outstanding performance but are also more likely to experience failure. This variation of outcomes is moderated by the resources a firm can draw upon in its ecosystem and by the volatility of its environment. Based on these ideas, we develop testable propositions to advance the internationalization process model.
Rungsithong, R.; Meyer, K. E.; Roath, A. S.,
2017, "Relational capabilities in Thai buyer-supplier relationships", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, December 32(8): 1228 - 1244.
Abstract: Purposebr This paper uses the relational capabilities perspective to provide new insights into the mediating role of relational capabilities and their performance implications. Specially, this paper aims to explain how characteristics of a partnership influence relational capabilities that in turn enhance firm performance. brbr Designmethodologyapproachbr Using data from an original survey of 156 partnership projects between buyers and suppliers in the Thai manufacturing sector, the authors use a structural model to test their hypotheses. brbr Findingsbr The empirical analysis shows that the impact of relational and economic attributes of a partnership on firm performance is mediated by knowledge sharing routines and complementary capability. However, the impact varies between operational and strategic performance, as relational capabilities are strongly associated with operational performance but only indirectly associated with strategic performance. brbr Practical implicationsbr The need to coordinate and mobilize complementary resources not only increases the interdependence between buyers and suppliers but also contributes to firm performance. Specifically, operations can be enhanced by knowledge sharing routines and complementary capability. At a strategic level, operational effectiveness enables firms to benefit from inter-organizational relationships. brbr Originalityvaluebr The authors contribute to industrial marketing knowledge by shedding light on mediation of relational capabilities between inter-organizational attributes and firm performance. The findings demonstrate the value of the relationship between a firm’s supply chain and its relational capabilities which in turn drive project performance.
Meyer, K. E.; Beugelsdijk, S.; van Witteloostuijn, A.,
2017, "What’s in a p? Reassessing best practices for conducting and reporting hypothesis-testing research", Journal of International Business Studies, July 48(5): 535 - 551.
Abstract: Social science research has recently been subject to considerable criticism regarding the validity and power of empirical tests published in leading journals, and business scholarship is no exception. Transparency and replicability of empirical findings are essential to build a cumulative body of scholarly knowledge. Yet current practices are under increased scrutiny to achieve these objectives. JIBS is therefore discussing and revising its editorial practices to enhance the validity of empirical research. In this editorial, we reflect on best practices with respect to conducting, reporting, and discussing the results of quantitative hypothesis-testing research, and we develop guidelines for authors to enhance the rigor of their empirical work. This will not only help readers to assess empirical evidence comprehensively, but also enable subsequent research to build a cumulative body of empirical knowledge.
Meyer, K. E.,
2017, "International business in an era of anti-globalization", Multinational Business Review, June 25(2): 78 - 90.
Abstract: Purposebr The apparent onset of an era of anti-globalization creates significant challenges for international business (IB) practice, research and education. This paper aims to discuss the implication of these challenges for IB scholarship. brbr Designmethodologyapproachbr This essay assesses the needs for research in IB in view of the challenges posed by the anti-globalization movement. brbr Findingsbr The author identifies and analyzes two sets of concerns of the anti-globalization movement: the unequal distribution of the benefits of globalization and emergent constraints on national sovereignty. On that basis, he offers suggestions on how international business scholars may contribute to addressing these challenges through research, teaching and public engagement. brbr Practical implicationsbr Businesses need to understand the economic and institutional arguments motivating the anti-globalization movement and to address them within their scope of activity. brbr Social implicationsbr Globalization benefits societies, in general, but some groups do not benefit unless specific remedial action is taken. If these groups are not supported, they can cause political disruption to IB and, hence, economic prosperity. brbr Originalityvaluebr This paper offers a pathway for IB scholars to contribute to discourses on globalization and anti-globalization.
Hobdari, B.; Gammeltoft, P.; Li, J.; Meyer, K. E.,
2017, "The home country of the MNE: The case of emerging economy firms", Asia Pacific Journal of Management, March 34(1): 1 - 17.
Abstract: Research on multinational enterprises that originate from emerging economies has highlighted the importance of the home country for firms’ strategies of internationalization. In this paper, we outline a simple analytical framework linking institutions and resource munificence in the home country to the domestic business eco-system in an emerging economy, and thereby to strategies of outward investments. Specifically, we argue that businesses interact with each other in their home economy, and these patterns of interactions influence strategies of internationalization as companies not only compete with each other, but share resources, coordinate actions and serve as each other’s role model. Strategies of outward investment thus reflect the competition and collaboration in their home country business eco-system.
Santangelo, G.; Meyer, K. E.; Jindra, B.,
2016, "MNE subsidiaries’ outsourcing and insourcing of R&D: The role of local institutions", Global Strategy Journal, November 6(4): 247 - 268.
Abstract: The rules for business vary not only between countries, but within countries. Subsidiaries of multinational enterprises (MNEs), thus, have to consider both the national level and the local context when designing their business practices. To examine this impact, we study R&D outsourcing in four Eastern member states of the European Union and find that local R&D outsourcing is used more frequently where local institutions are strong. However, this local impact depends on the MNE's overall knowledge sourcing practice and is weaker when MNE subsidiaries’ knowledge management prioritizes external sources of knowledge.
Link(s) to publication:
Meyer, K. E.; Benito, G.,
2016, "Where do MNEs locate their headquarters? At home", Global Strategy Journal, May 6(2): 149 - 159.
Abstract: We discuss the concept of corporate headquarters and outline a simple model of where MNEs locate their corporate headquarters. In line with substantial empirical evidence, this model emphasizes the inertial forces that tie MNEs to the location where they have historically first been established. We then aggregate our analysis to the national level to identify the determinants of the number of MNE headquarters in a given country. On that basis, we offer a critique of the study by Coeurderoy and Verbeke [this issue, and outline directions for future research.
Link(s) to publication:
Estrin, S.; Meyer, K. E.; Nielsen, B. B.; Nielsen, S.,
2016, "Home Country Institutions and the Internationalization of State Owned Enterprises: A Cross-Country Analysis", Journal of World Business, February 51(2): 294 - 307.
Abstract: National institutions shape the ability of civil society and minority shareholders to monitor and influence decision-makers in listed state owned enterprises (SOEs), and thereby their strategies of internationalization. We argue that the weaker are such controls, the more likely such decision makers pursue self-serving motives, and thus shy away from international investment. Listed SOEs’ strategies will thus be more similar to those of wholly privately owned enterprises (POEs) when these controls are more effective. Building on Williamson's (2000) hierarchy of institutions, we examine how home country institutions exerting normative, regulatory, and governance-related controls affect the comparative internationalization levels of listed SOEs and POEs. Based on a matched sample of 153 majority state owned and 153 wholly privately owned listed firms from 40 different countries, we confirm that, when home country institutions enable effective control, the internationalization strategies of listed SOEs and POEs converge.
Meyer, K. E.; Peng, M. W.,
2016, "Theoretical Foundations of Emerging Economy Research", Journal of International Business Studies, January 47(1): 3 - 22.
Abstract: In Probing Theoretically into Central and Eastern Europe: Transactions, Resources, and Institutions, we outlined the contributions of research in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to theoretical debates in business research. In this retrospective, we reflect upon the evolution of the field over the past decade. With the fading impact of CEE’s distinct shared history, we suggest that CEE best be analyzed as emerging economies, rather than as a distinct geographic entity. Emerging economy business research is converging on common themes and shared theoretical ideas, while identifying critical variations that constrain generalizations among and beyond emerging economies. This research thus highlights the need to develop a better understanding of the boundary conditions of scholarly theories of business knowledge. Over the past decade, the institution-based view has emerged from distinct intellectual traditions in institutional economics, organizational theory, and the analysis of businessgovernment bargaining. Research in these converging lines of theorizing places contextual variations at the center of explanations of business phenomena around the world. We suggest that the institution-based view is evolving toward a paradigm, and offer suggestions on how to advance this research agenda further, in particular by exploring how firms engage with different sets of potentially conflicting institutions at multiple levels and locations.
Klossek, A.; Meyer, K. E.; Nippa, M.,
2015, "Why Do Strategic Alliances Persist? A Behavioral Decision Model", Managerial and Decision Economics, October 36(7): 470 - 486.
Abstract: Strategic alliances are considered a flexible form of organizing, yet they are often long-lived. Even when systematic benefitcost analysis suggests that their organizational form should be changed or terminated, some alliances still persist. Drawing on behavioral decision theory, we propose a theoretical model that explains this phenomenon. Decision makers are subject to a variety of biases that can lead to the overvaluation of the net benefits of an alliance and, hence, inhibit the change or discontinuation of underperforming alliances. Our model illustrates how decision-making biases at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and interorganizational levels are moderated by the design of an alliance and the tools employed in the decision-making process. This behavioral decision perspective advances our theoretical understanding of the longevity of strategic alliances and their embeddedness in complex decision-making contexts. Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Yang, W.; Meyer, K. E.,
2015, "Competitive Dynamics in an Emerging Economy: Competitive Pressures, Resources, and the Speed of Action", Journal of Business Research, June 68(6): 1176 - 1185.
Abstract: In fast-paced markets, the speed of action is critical to gaining competitive advantage. Yet, who will act quickest to rise to emergent challenges and opportunities? We investigate this question of competitive dynamics by combining behavioral and resource-based theories of the firm to explore drivers particularly relevant in an emerging economy context. Our empirical study based on a survey in China finds that strategic growth actions are taken faster by firms with underperforming market share, strong technological capabilities and strong leader strategic competences. In contrast, strategic joint actions with other businesses are employed more speedily by firms under financial pressures but with strong leader strategic competences.
Cui, L.; Li, Y.; Meyer, K. E.; Li, Z.,
2015, "Leadership Experience meets Ownership Structure: Returnee Managers and Internationalization of Emerging Economy Firms", Management International Review, June 55(3): 355 - 387.
Abstract: How does returnee managers’ international leadership experience influence emerging economy firms’ internationalization? The internationalization process model suggests that international experience plays a central role enabling firms’ internationalization moves. We propose that emerging economy firms can accelerate their development of international experienceand hence their international commitmentsby grafting returnees with international leadership experience. We hypothesize that such international leadership experience has a positive effect on firm internationalization, and that this effect is strengthened by central-state ownership and private ownership, but weakened by local-state ownership and foreign ownership. Using 8-year (20012008) event-historical data from 164 Chinese electronic manufacturing firms, we found empirical support to our theoretical arguments. Specifically, returnee managers’ international leadership experience is positively associated with emerging economy firms’ likelihood of conducting foreign direct investment, while for other forms of international experience no positive effect can be detected. Our analysis of moderation by firms’ ownership type finds that this positive association is strengthened by central-state and private ownerships, but weakened by local-state and foreign ownership.
Link(s) to publication:
Works in Progress
- Multinational enterprises from emerging economies
Honours & Awards
- Fellow, Academy of International Business
- Decade Award Winner, Journal of International Business Studies, 2015
- Adjunct Professor, Copenhagen Business School (since 2008)
- Professor, China Europe International Business School, Shanghai, China (2011-2017)
- Professor, University of Bath (2007-2001)
- Professor, University of Reading (2005-2007)
- Professor, Copenhagen Business School (1997-2005)
- Visiting Scholar, National Cheng-chi University, Taiwan (2005)
- Visiting Scholar, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2001)