Omokaro-Romanus, Felicia Constance (2018) The Internationalisation Process of Emerging Market Multinational Corporations: A Case Study of Nigeria. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Further studies are required to provide an insight and understanding into the internationalisation process of EMNCs, because the theories of firms’ internationalisation were developed from studies in advanced countries. However the behaviour of EMNCs may be different from that of firms from advanced countries. Despite a growing number of studies on the internationalisation process of emerging market multinationals (EMNCs), Latin American and Asian firms have dominated the geographical focus. Studies of the internationalisation process of Sub-Saharan African firms, in particular that of Nigerian firms, are lacking in the international business literature.

This study examines the factors that have impacted on the domestic growth of Nigerian firms, the factors that have motivated their internationalisation and the location patterns of their internationalisation. It draws on four case studies of Nigerian companies from different sectors of the Nigerian economy; namely, manufacturing, banking, insurance and ICT. This study is important because it brings an in-depth understanding to an under explored new phenomenon. Data were drawn from multiple sources of evidence for triangulation and convergence. “Within-case” and “cross-case” data analysis was undertaken. The primary data were analysed thematically and the Nvivo 11 qualitative software package was used for data coding.

It was found that there is no uniform set of factors that have motivated the internationalisation of Nigerian firms. Even though some similarities exist across cases, there are also stark differences. The study shows that Nigerian firms have evolved during a difficult period in Nigeria’s economic development. It also reveals that the economics of liberalisation after the democratic transition in 1999 opened new opportunities, which enabled Nigerian firms to accumulate their specific ownership advantages in the domestic market, which then enhanced their competitive advantage in both domestic and international markets. The home country’s specific advantages, such as resource endowment, favourable domestic business environment and home market profitability have had a positive impact on firms’ ability to develop their specific advantages. The study reveals that institutional and resource based factors drove the domestic growth of the four firms. These included the political environment, social conditions, economic conditions, technological changes, sectorial characteristics, management orientation and the resources and capabilities of the firms.

The internationalisation of Nigerian firms also reflects a Pan-African investment strategy. Regional/host markets factors were key motivations for the firms’ internationalisation and their location patterns. Regional markets provided the case firms with opportunities to expand and also served as an international entry point to develop their experiential learning of internationalisation. Home market advantage, network relationships, management orientation, vision, resources and capabilities were found to have impacted positively on the internationalisation process of Nigerian firms. The study indicates that the geographical proximity of the host market, rather than its psychic distance, was a motivation for both Nigerian firms’ internationalisation and their location pattern.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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