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The multinationality and performance relationship: revisiting the literature and exploring the implications

Nguyen, Q. T.K. and Kim, S. (2020) The multinationality and performance relationship: revisiting the literature and exploring the implications. International Business Review, 29 (2). 101670. ISSN 0969-5931

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2020.101670


The relationship between the degree of multinationality (M) and performance (P) of multinational enterprises (MNEs) is a central research question in the literatures of international business, management, strategy, and finance in the past 50 years. However, theoretical foundations and empirical findings are far from being in unison. Thus, it is necessary to conduct a critical review. We offer new insights by combining international business, accounting and finance perspectives in our review. We examine 160 articles in 43 scholarly journals and classic books published during the period 1960-2017. We use an inductive approach and a qualitative content analysis methodology. We review the extant literature and identify eight key inconsistencies, which may cause ambiguity in the findings. These include the deficiency of direct evidence to substantiate the arguments of benefits and costs of internationalization on performance, inherent limitations in the conceptualization and measurements of M, P, intangible assets, geographic research contexts and methodologies. We make eight recommendations for future research to address these inconsistencies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:88578


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