Developed country MNEs investing in developing economies: Progress and prospect

Yadong Luo, Huan Zhang, Juan Bu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This study reviews research from 1970 through 2016 on developed country multinational enterprises (DMNEs) entering and competing in developing economies. To identify the current state of knowledge of this research and push it further, we review the literature using bibliometric and qualitative content analyses covering leading journals and books. We articulate frontier issues that are understudied yet critical to both theorization and practice of DMNEs in developing economies. We discuss the findings and conclusions from prior research along five key areas: (1) entering developing economies, (2) organizing local activities, (3) managing alliances and joint ventures, (4) competing in dynamic environments, and (5) dealing with institutions, governments and society. We offer prospective insights into future agenda that have important implications for MNE strategies and decisions, and propose frontier directions that encompass strategic localization, reverse transfer and adaptation, co-evolution with local business ecosystems, reorganizing and restructuring, and strategic responses to institutional and market complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • developing economies
  • global strategy
  • multinational corporations (MNCs) and enterprises (MNEs)
  • qualitative review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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