Foreignness research in international business : Major streams and future directions

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449–480
Journal / PublicationJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number3
Online published15 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022



Foreignness has long been a central construct in international business research, with research streams examining its conceptualizations, manifestations, and consequences. Researchers started by taking foreignness to be a liability, then later considered the possibility of its being an asset. A still more recent view is that foreignness is an organizational identity that a firm can purposefully manage. Broadly conceived, foreignness is an umbrella construct that directly or tangentially covers research on country of origin, institutional distance, firm-specific advantages, and the ownership–location–internalization eclectic paradigm. We review the body of research on foreignness and track the evolution of its four streams, liability of foreignness, asset of foreignness, drivers of foreignness, and firm responses to foreignness. We call for a clearer conceptualization and a sounder theoretical grounding of the foreignness construct, more integration of the liability of foreignness and the asset of foreignness research streams, greater attention to the multiple strategies firms use to manage foreignness, and the extension of the field to less-explored contexts such as emerging economies, digitalization, and de-globalization.
外來性長期以來一直是國際商務研究的一個核心概念, 研究流派研究了它的概念化、表現形式和影響。研究人員一開始將外來性視為劣勢, 而後考慮它作為優勢的可能性。一種更新近的觀點認為, 外來性是公司可以有目的地進行管理的組織身份。從廣義上講, 外來性是一個傘狀概念, 它直接或間接地涵蓋了對原產國、制度距離、公司特定優勢和所有權-地點-內部化折衷範式的研究。我們回顧了關於外來性的研究, 並跟蹤了其四個流派的演變, 即外來性的劣勢、外來性的優勢、外來性的驅動因素和對外來性的企業反應。我們呼籲對外來性的概念更清晰的概念化和更完善的理論基礎, 對外來性的劣勢和外來性的優勢的研究流派進行更多的整合, 更加關注公司用於管理外國性的多種策略, 並將該領域擴展到較少探索的例如新興經濟體、數位化和去全球化的情境之中。

Research Area(s)

  • liability of foreignness, asset of foreignness, MNE–host-country relations, country-of-origin effects, institutional distance, subsidiary identity

Citation Format(s)

Foreignness research in international business: Major streams and future directions. / Lu, Jane W.; Ma, Hao; Xie, Xuanli.
In: Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 53, No. 3, 04.2022, p. 449–480.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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