Emerging multinationals' strategic asset-seeking M&As: a systematic review

Yanze Liang, Axèle Giroud, Asmund Rygh

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) have consolidated their global presence recently, challenging existing international business (IB) theories. One of their most significant characteristics has been the prevalence of strategic asset-seeking (SAS) mergers and acquisitions (M&As) targeting firms in developed countries. Such SAS M&As have been ascribed to the aim of acquiring or augmenting firm-specific advantages, rather than exploiting existing advantages. A literature review is needed to synthesize the growing number of academic studies and to contribute to ongoing theoretical developments on EMNEs' catch-up strategies. Design/methodology/approach: The authors follow a standard systematic literature review approach. The authors collate academic studies on EMNEs' SAS M&As in developed markets published between 2000 and mid-2020, structuring the analysis using the logic of antecedent, process and performance outcomes. Findings: The authors present recent research trends in terms of year, journal, theories and methods. The authors synthesize and analyze existing knowledge on EMNEs' SAS M&As and identify remaining gaps to suggest future research directions. Originality/value: The review contributes by focusing on the key argument of current EMNE research – SAS M&As. By providing the first focused review on this topic, it provides a basis for further research on EMNEs' SAS M&As.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1372
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Developed countries
  • Emerging market multinationals
  • Mergers and acquisitions (M&As)
  • Performance
  • Strategic asset-seeking
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)


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