Dimensions of knowledge: Comparing Asian and Western MNEs in China

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58 Scopus citations


This study compares knowledge and its performance effects between Asian and Western MNEs in the People's Republic of China. It examines knowledge differences along four dimensions including technological skills, organizational capabilities, marketing knowledge, and environment familiarity between two groups. The discriminant analysis of the survey data containing 178 MNE subunits in China suggests that Asian MNEs are inferior in technological and organizational competencies but superior in host country-specific knowledge such as marketing tactics and environmental familiarity, compared to Western counterparts. Despite such differences, knowledge in all four dimensions is found to enhance financial returns and overall performance for sample firms no matter where they come from. The logic underlying the dominance of Asian MNEs in China's FDI, from economic, cultural, and institutional perspectives, is also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-93
Number of pages19
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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