Emerging global contenders : the South African experience

03 Oct 2007

The global strategies of three major South African MNEs are examined with a view to understanding the applicability of existing theories to developing country firms and their emergence as global industry leaders. Emerging market MNEs are motivated by both defensive and offensive considerations. At the same time, home market domination allows potential contenders to develop competitive firm-specific advantages that are non-location based. We propose that successful emerging market MNEs start to build their global positions on the back of asset exploitation, but soon follow with asset seeking behavior. When country specific advantages are less important, contenders can accelerate their development of non-location based FSAs rapidly. Finally, leadership and domestic dominance may be more important than country specific advantages in explaining the success of emerging market MNEs.