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The American Model of the Multinational Firm and the “New” Multinationals from Emerging Economies1

Mauro F. Guillén

The Lauder Institute, The Wharton School

Esteban García-Canal

Universidad de Oviedo

Abstract

The traditional American model of multinational enterprise (MNE), characterized by foreign direct investment (FDI) aimed at exploiting firm-specific capabilities developed at home and a gradual, country-by-country, approach of internationalization dominated the global economy during much of the post World War II period. In the last two decades, however, new MNEs from emerging, upper middle-income, or oil-rich countries have followed completely different patterns of international expansion. In this paper we analyze the processes through which these firms became MNEs and to what extent do we need a new theory to explain their international growth.

1 Financial support provided by the Fundación Rafael del Pino is gratefully acknowledged.

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