Date of Award
Doctor of Business Admin
The international business literature offers four primary reasons for firms moving parts of their value chain abroad: they desire access to markets, resources, efficiencies, or strategic assets. Despite suggestions by prominent scholars (e.g., Dunning) that there may be a fifth motive – the desire to escape from institutional settings that hinder a firm’s ability to achieve its goals – convincing evidence in support of this motive has been elusive. Current studies of escape-based internationalization tend to come from adjacent disciplines, and are usually conceptual in nature (thus providing no empirical support) or are qualitative, survey-based examinations (thus limiting generalizability and potentially over-relying on stated, versus revealed, preferences). Moreover, quantitative, empirical studies that do exist typically fail to control for the big four traditional motives (i.e., they examine covariates, control for non-motivational confounds, and then assume escape has occurred). In hopes of providing persuasive evidence in support of this fifth motive, I combine a natural experiment-based research design (to help control for omitted variables and reverse-causality) with predictions derived from behavioral decision-making theory (to disentangle traditional from escape-based motives). This allows me to provide quantitative, empirical evidence that accounts for traditional motives and is based on realized, as opposed to stated, preferences. I found that predicted relationship directions equaled actual directions for 24 hypotheses (18 were statistically significant) versus four where predicted and actual directions diverged (two were statistically significant). I thus conclude that escape-based internationalization does happen, with higher degrees of home-country institutional deterioration prompting quicker and more aggressive foreign investments.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Clampit, Jack Alan, "Does Institutional Misalignment Prompt Escape-Based Internationalization? An Exploratory Examination of Latin American Outbound Foreign Direct Investment" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 779.