Extending theory by analyzing developing country multinational companies: Solving the Goldilocks debate


Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, College of Business Administration, Northeastern University, 313 Hayden Hall, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, U.S.A. E-mail: a.cuervocazurra@neu.edu


I analyze how the study of developing country multinational companies (DMNCs) can help extend theory. The renewed interest in DMNCs has generated a ‘Goldilocks’ debate, with one camp arguing that the analysis of DMNCs is ‘hot’ and requires new theory, another camp arguing that it is ‘cold’ and no new theory is required, and a third camp arguing that it is ‘just right’ and it can be used to extend theory. I follow this third camp and argue that the unique conditions of developing countries influence the internationalization of DMNCs, creating a laboratory for extending theory. I illustrate this idea by reviewing some of the key theories and models of the multinational company and explaining how they can be extended with the study of DMNCs.