The internationalisation process of firms form a developing country : empirical study of Malaysian-based multinational corporations

Ahmad, Syed Zamberi

February 2006

Thesis or dissertation

© 2006 Syed Zamberi Ahmad. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis aims to investigate the emergence and evolution of Malaysian-based firms and identify the factors that influence the organisation's international expansion process. This study reviews different streams of literature on the internationalisation process of firms and developing country multinational enterprises, highlighting the necessity to maintain a balance between exploiting existing resources and accumulating new competencies. Drawing upon extensive field research of three case studies of notable Malaysian-based multinational firms namely, Petroliam Nasional Berhad, TM Berhad, and Sime Darby Berhad, this study attempts to explains how symbiosis of internationalisation knowledge and experience, technological competence, and business network connections (including government support) is pivotal to the emergence and international expansion of Malaysian-based multinational firms. The findings of the research indicate that these corporations did not follow the sequential pattern of internationalisation process. Rather, internationalisation processes and expansions are diverse and complex, often reflecting areas of specialisation of the firm, or its internal growth processes. The factors influencing internationalisation tends to be firm specific and associated with the capabilities, competencies and resources of the associated firms. The study attempts to explain the growth and expansion of the three case Malaysian firms and shed light on the relatively unexplored area of outward direct investment by these corporations, thereby contributing to the existing literature on multinational corporations from developing countries. This study is an empirical contribution concerning the developmental process of multinational corporations from Malaysia.

Business School, The University of Hull
Kitchen, Philip J.; Turner, Colin, 1967-
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