Publication Date

2014-07-28

Availability

Embargoed

Embargo Period

2016-07-27

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Management (Business)

Date of Defense

2014-05-15

First Committee Member

Yadong Luo

Second Committee Member

John M. Mezias

Third Committee Member

Joseph Ganitsky

Fourth Committee Member

Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra

Abstract

In this dissertation, I studied how emerging economy enterprises upgrade capabilities to lessen their competitive gaps in comparison with global industry leaders. By extending organizational learning theory, I theorized capability upgrading as a distinctive learning process including directional, temporal, and locational dimensions. In Essay One, I provided an overarching theoretical framework with testable propositions to explain how firms upgrade capabilities through a combination of four-I upgrading mechanisms. I then discussed the influences of emerging economy specific contingencies and dynamics in the process. In Essay Two and Essay Three, I extended and tested part of the framework developed in Essay One. Specifically, in Essay Two, I proposed a behavioral learning model to explain how upgrading directions (i.e., capability-deepening and capability-broadening) are determined by different knowledge gap filling needs and mediated by a distinctive learning mechanism (i.e., international benchmarking). The findings from a sample of 278 Chinese manufacturing firms supported related hypotheses. In Essay Three, I proposed an institutional ambidexterity learning model to explain how upgrading speed is affected by the dual effects (i.e., facilitating and hindering) of institutional change in emerging economies. I further explained how firms manage such dual effects by developing institutional ambidexterity capabilities. The findings from a sample of 674 large firms from 25 countries supported related hypotheses.

Keywords

Capability Upgrading; Organizational Learning; Emerging Economy Enterprises; International Benchmarking; Institutional Change

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