Unbundling the Effects of Internationalization on Firm Performance in Emerging Economies: The Moderating Effects of Strategic Resource Decisions


JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL MARKETING, vol.30, no.1, pp.55-74, 2022 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1069031x211030686
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.55-74
  • Keywords: emerging economies, firm performance, internationalization, slack resources, strategic marketing ambidexterity, DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES, SLACK RESOURCES, ORGANIZATIONAL SLACK, SERVICE FIRMS, MARKET FIRMS, BORN GLOBALS, DIVERSIFICATION, MULTINATIONALITY, AMBIDEXTERITY, EXPLORATION
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


The authors investigate how strategic resource decisions-regarding slack resources and strategic marketing ambidexterity-influence the relationship between internationalization and firm performance of emerging-market firms. Drawing on the resource-based view, the authors synthesize two dominant, yet divergent, perspectives that explain the respective resource slack advantages and liabilities in the internationalization literature: the flexible capacity and the efficient capacity perspectives. They also explore the moderating role of strategic marketing ambidexterity, which comprises a bundle of marketing activities covering both exploitation-dominant actions and exploration-dominant actions. The authors empirically examine the hypothesized relationships with data from a sample of 1,683 firm-year observations for the period between 2005 and 2018 and find that distinct forms of resource slack have contrasting effects on the relationship between internationalization and performance. The results provide strong evidence for a positive moderation effect of unabsorbed slack resources and a negative moderation effect of absorbed slack resources on the internationalization-performance relationship. The authors also find a nonsignificant moderating effect of strategic marketing ambidexterity, demonstrating that internationalization results in higher firm performance regardless of the firm's exploration-dominant or exploitation-dominant strategic emphasis in emerging economies.