Learning-by-Doing in Emerging Market Multinationals: Integration, Trial and Error, Repetition, and Extension

Rui, H., Cuervo-Cazurra, A. and Un. C. A. 2016. Learning-by-doing and capability upgrading in emerging market multinationals. Journal of World Business, 51: 686-699.

26 Pages Posted: 15 May 2017

See all articles by Huaichuan Rui

Huaichuan Rui

University of London - Royal Holloway College

Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra

Northeastern University - Department of International Business and Strategy

C. Annique Un

Northeastern University - International Business & Strategy

Date Written: April 16, 2016

Abstract

We analyze learning-by-doing and how emerging market multinationals use it to upgrade their capabilities. Building on an in-depth case study, we present two novel arguments. First, we clarify the concept of learning-by-doing by identifying four distinct processes in which learning-by-doing occurs: Integration, whereby the firm incorporates external knowledge and coordinates multiple sources of knowledge to undertake an activity; trial and error, whereby the firm attempts a new activity until it succeeds; repetition, whereby the firm improves the activity by undertaking it multiple times; and extension, whereby the firm takes on a larger and more complex activity. Second, we extend our understanding of how the country of origin influences firm behavior by explaining how particular characteristics of emerging markets (few specialized providers, relative knowledge isolation, rapid market growth, and increasing consumer sophistication) strengthen the relationships between the four learning-by-doing processes and the upgrading of capabilities to international levels.

Keywords: learning-by-doing, capabilities, upgrading, emerging countries, case study, CSCEC

JEL Classification: F23; O32

Suggested Citation

Rui, Huaichuan and Cuervo-Cazurra, Alvaro and Un, C. Annique, Learning-by-Doing in Emerging Market Multinationals: Integration, Trial and Error, Repetition, and Extension (April 16, 2016). Rui, H., Cuervo-Cazurra, A. and Un. C. A. 2016. Learning-by-doing and capability upgrading in emerging market multinationals. Journal of World Business, 51: 686-699.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2968001 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2968001

Huaichuan Rui

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

Egham
Surrey
TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - Department of International Business and Strategy ( email )

D'Amore-McKim School of Business
313 Hayden Hall, 360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
16173736568 (Phone)
16173738628 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://cuervo-cazurra.com

C. Annique Un

Northeastern University - International Business & Strategy ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://anniqueun.com/

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