Leadership Experience Meets Ownership Structure: Returnee Managers and Internationalization of Emerging Economy Firms

Lin Cui (First Author), Klaus E. Meyer (Participant Author), Zijie Li (Participant Author), Yi Li (Participant Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


    How does returnee managers’ international leadership experience influence emerging economy firms’ internationalization? The internationalization process model suggests that international experience plays a central role enabling firms’ internationalization moves. We propose that emerging economy firms can accelerate their development of international experience—and hence their interna- tional commitments—by grafting returnees with international leadership experi- ence. We hypothesize that such international leadership experience has a positive effect on firm internationalization, and that this effect is strengthened by central- state ownership and private ownership, but weakened by local-state ownership and foreign ownership. Using 8-year (2001–2008) event-historical data from 164 Chi- nese electronic manufacturing firms, we found empirical support to our theoretical arguments. Specifically, returnee managers’ international leadership experience is positively associated with emerging economy firms’ likelihood of conducting for- eign direct investment, while for other forms of international experience no positive effect can be detected. Our analysis of moderation by firms’ ownership type finds that this positive association is strengthened by central-state and private ownerships, but weakened by local-state and foreign ownership
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-387
    JournalManagement International Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Corresponding author email



    • Corporate ownership
    • Emerging economy
    • Event history analysis
    • International experience
    • Internationalization process
    • Returnee manager

    Indexed by

    • ABDC-A
    • Scopus
    • SSCI


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