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Keywords:

  • liability of foreignness;
  • global strategy;
  • regional strategy;
  • cultural distance;
  • institutional distance;
  • emerging markets;
  • resource-based view

While recent research has pointed to the importance of regional strategy and the ‘interregional liability of foreignness,’ critics have pointed out that this argument obscures important differences within regions as well as the similarities across them. Bridging these diverging viewpoints, our research is designed to unpack this debate into cultural, institutional, and regional components. Using a large data set, we find that firms are significantly more dispersed across cultural and, in particular, institutional boundaries, than they are across geographically defined regional boundaries. Further, our results indicate that certain firm-specific resources influence firms' global dispersion; in particular, we find that a nuanced interplay of proprietary capabilities such as technology, marketing, and partnering capabilities has an impact on the location of firm activities.