A general theory of springboard MNEs
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© 2017 Academy of International Business The springboard view has become one theoretic lens to analyze emerging market multinationals (EMNEs) in the past decade. A decade after its first introduction in 2007, new developments offer keen insights on these firms and MNEs in general that aggressively engage in critical asset-seeking. We compare this view with other IB theories, highlighting their differences as well as complementarity. We articulate unique strengths and weaknesses of EMNEs, including their vulnerability and complexity caused in part by home country institutions. We discuss amalgamation, ambidexterity, and adaptation advantages that differentiate springboard MNEs from more established advanced country MNEs, and explain why and how springboard acts should be analyzed along with global competitiveness augmentation. We introduce an upward spiral concept to advance our understanding of linkages between springboard and post-springboard activities, and explain some critical cross-cultural and human resource management issues in the process. To help continued research on springboard MNEs, we highlight macro- and micro-management issues that are particularly worth exploring.
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