Klaus Meyer

Research: Management Practice in Emerging Economies

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Emerging economies such as Eastern Europe and East Asia pose special challenges for managers aiming to enter attractive new markets, or to exploit new opportunities of world-wide division of labour. My research has over the years analysed various aspects of the challenges, and I published papers aimed  for different audiences. On this page I provide a brief summary of papers that may be of direct interest to managers involved in setting up businesses in emerging economies. Click on the button below the abstract to download the paper.


Management Challenges of Chinese Multinationals

I have been blogging extensively on Forbes and EIU on the strategies and managerial challenges of Chinese multinationals. Following this link, you find a compilation of my blogs in 2015-2016.

Globalization Challenges: Is National Sovereignty under Threat?

Multilateral Agreements between nation states are committing countries to free trade - and many other things. Some of these commitments have become the focus of anti-globalization campaigners. While agreements such as TPP and TIPP have the potential to accelerate economic growth, they trouble is in the detail, in particular in the investment protection clauses aimed to protect foreign investors, but creating constraints on national politics. To bring the debate over such agreement into classrooms around teh world, we have edited in 2016 a special issue of AIB Insights, a newsletter of the Academy of International Business.

Entry Strategies for Emerging Economies

These two short papers outline an integrative approach to designing foreign entry strategies. Entry strategies have many aspects that are interdependent, including location, timing, mode and ownership, marketing, human resources and logistics. By recognizing these interdependencies, rather than taken decisions sequentially, investors can design their entry strategies such as to get the new subsidiary of to a good starting, thus laying the foundations of successful market penetration and profitable growth. The item for the Bath Alumni newsletter provides a synopsis of the challenges faced by companies contemplating foreign entry; the article in the Princeton Encyclopedia provides a more scholarly overview.

Meyer, Klaus E. (2008): Strategies for Emerging Economy Markets, Bath Perspectives, March, in press. paper
Meyer, Klaus E. (2008): Foreign Entry Strategies, Princeton Encyclopedia of the World Economy, in press. paper

Market Penetration and Acquisition Strategies for Emerging Economies

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are expanding their global reach, carrying their products and brands to new and diverse markets in emerging economies. As they tailor their strategies to the local context, they have to create product and brand portfolios that match their competences with local needs. Moreover, they have to develop operational capabilities for the specific context, which requires complementary resources that are typically controlled by local firms. We outline strategies for penetrating local markets through multi-tier branding and the acquisition of local firms. We discuss when to target mass markets, premium markets, or both, and we offer new typologies that differentiate acquisition entries by the aggressiveness: staged acquisitions, multiple acquisitions, indirect acquisitions, and brownfield acquisitions. We illustrate them by analysing the entry and growth of Carlsberg Breweries in four very different emerging economies: Poland, Lithuania, Vietnam and China.

Meyer, Klaus E. & Tran, Yen Thi Thu (2006), published in: Long Range Planning, 39, no. 2, p. 177-197. paper


Doing Business in Vietnam


Over the last thirty years, Vietnam evolved from “war after war” to an emerging economy with an attractive foreign investment policy and commitment to a liberalized economy. Although the GDP per capita is still considerably lower than in the Asian Tiger economies, and the institutional framework still reflects inheritances from the central plan system, Vietnam today has a vibrant economy with small businesses springing up at every street corner. Foreign investors have been flogging to Vietnam since the early 1990s, with a new peak of FDI inflow in 2004. This paper reviews the Vietnamese economy, society, culture, and policies towards foreign investment to inform those considering to invest in Vietnam, and to provide some practical advice.

Meyer, Klaus E., Tran, Yen Thi Thu & Nguyen, Hung Vo (2006), published in: Thunderbird International Business Review 28, no. 2, p. 263-290 paper


Foreign Direct Investment in Emerging Economies

This paper summarizes the literature on the role of FDI in emerging economies. It focuses on the impact of FDI on host economies, and on policy and managerial implications arising from this (potential) impact. It addresses four questions:

  • Why do multinational firms invest in emerging economies?
  • How does FDI affect host economies?
  • What can governments do (better)?
  • What can MNEs do (better)?
Meyer, Klaus E. (2005), policy discussion paper in preparation for Emerging Markets Forum, Templeton College, Oxford, December 2005 paper



Managing partnerships with state-owned joint venture companies: Experiences from Vietnam


Vietnam is gearing up to join the Asian Tigers. Business opportunities beckon yet foreign investors often still need to co-operate with local state-owned enterprises to gain access to crucial local resources. This creates unusual management challenges. We outline some of the key challenges arising in such relationships and offer insight in how to manage them.

Nguyen, Ha Thanh & Meyer, Klaus E. (2004), published in: Business Strategy Review 15 (2004), no.1, p. 39-50 paper

Corporate Governance in Transition Economies

The transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe have privatised their economies at an unprecedented speed in the 1990s. The expectation was that under private ownership, former state-owned enterprises would act as dynamic, profit-oriented engines of growth. Yet, this expectation has been rarely fulfilled, and weak systems of corporate governance are often seen as the culprit. This paper outlines the methods of privatisation used in the region, and their consequences for corporate governance. The unusual form of governance thus developed can be expected to create unique forms of capitalism in Central and Eastern Europe.

Meyer, Klaus E. (2003), published in: The Capco Institute Journal of Financial Transformation, no. 9 (Nov), p.30-38  paper

Management Challenges in Privatization Acquisitions in Transition Economies

Large-scale privatization was at the core of economic reform in most transition economies, except China, in the 1990’s. Privatization creates special challenges for multinational investors acquiring firms in the process. Such acquisitions differ from conventional acquisitions due to the constraints imposed on strategic action by the privatization context, the depth of subsequent restructuring, and the necessary sensitivity to the local context and the societal changes associated with systemic transition. This paper reviews privatization experiences in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union with the aim of identifying key issues for managers operating in transition economies.

Meyer, Klaus E. (2002), published in: Journal of World Business 37, no. 4, p. 266-276 paper

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