Do we need different frameworks to explain infant MNEs from developing countries?


Rajneesh Narula, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6UD, U.K. E-mail:


I argue that the initial set of firm-specific assets (FSAs) act as an envelope for the early stages of internationalization of multinational enterprises (MNEs) (of whatever nationality) AND THAT there is a threshold LEVEL of FSAs that IT must possess for such international expansion to be SUCCESSFUL. I also argue that the initial FSAs of an MNE tend to be constrained by the location-specific (L) assets of the home country. However, beyond different initial conditions, there are few obvious reasons to insist that INFANT developing country MNEs are of unique character THAN ADVANCED ECONOMY MNEs, and I predict that as they evolve, the observable differences between the two groups will diminish. Successful firms will increasingly explore internationalization, but there is also no reason to believe that this is likely to happen disproportionately from the developing countries.