intangible asset, namely, “ethnic brands” that appealed to customers not only in the home market but also to the ethnic diaspora in foreign countries, especially in Europe and the United States (Lecraw 1977; Wells 1983; Ferrantino 1992; Goldstein 2007:117-122). Other scholars noted that the new MNEs possessed an uncanny ability to incrementally improve available products and to develop specialized variations for certain market niches (Lall 1983; UNCTAD 2006).
During the 1980s, students of the so-called East Asian miracle highlighted yet another intangible asset, one having to do with the ability to organize production and to execute large-scale projects efficiently with the help of technology borrowed from abroad in industries as diverse as steel, electronics, automobiles, shipbuilding, infrastructure development, and turnkey plant construction (Amsden and Hikino 1994). Scholars also proposed that these capabilities facilitated the growth of diversified business groups (Guillén 2000; Kock and Guillén 2001), which in turn made it easier for firms within the same group to expand and invest abroad by drawing on shared financial, managerial and organizational resources (Lall 1983:6; Guillén 2002; Matthews 2006; UNCTAD 2006; Goldstein 2007:87-93). A specific type of managerial skill that becomes critical in accelerated internationalization is the ability to manage effectively mergers and acquisitions or strategic alliances. These abilities become critical when extracting value from such organizational combinations, that are necessary to learn and gain access to critical resources to increase the international competitiveness of the firm (Zollo and Singh 2004; Kale et al., 2000). Guillén (2005) has shown that the accrued skills in the management of M&A and corporate restructuring by Spanish large firms competing in regulated industries have been critical for their international expansion in Latin America. Buckley et al. (2007) analyzing the success of Chinese firms capitalizing on the Chinese diaspora argued that some firms have the ability to engage in beneficial relationships with other firms having valuable resources needed