Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Management and International Business

Advisor's Name

William Newburry

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Sumit Kundu

Advisor's Name

Aya Chacar

Advisor's Name

Paulette Jhonson

Advisor's Name

John Mezias

Keywords

Multinationality, Performance, Business group diversification, non-market resources.

Date of Defense

3-22-2012

Abstract

This dissertation explored the capacity of business group diversification to generate value to their affiliates in an institutional environment characterized by the adoption of structural pro-market reforms. In particular, the three empirical essays explored the impact of business group diversification on the internationalization process of their affiliates.

The first essay examined the direct effect of business group diversification on firm performance and its moderating effect on the multinationality-performance relationship. It further explored whether such moderating effect varies depending upon whether the focal affiliate is a manufacturing or service firm. The findings suggested that the benefits of business group diversification on firm performance have a threshold, that those benefits are significant at earlier stages of internationalization and that these benefits are stronger for service firms.

The second essay studied the capacity of business group diversification to ameliorate the negative effects of the added complexity faced by its affiliates when they internationalized. The essay explored this capacity in different dimensions of international complexity. The results indicated that business group diversification effectively ameliorated the effects of the added international complexity. This positive effect is stronger in the institutional voids rather than the societal complexity dimension. In the former dimension, diversified business groups can use both their non-market resources and previous experience to ameliorate the effects of complexity on firm performance.

The last essay explored whether the benefits of business group diversification on the scope-performance relationship varies depending on the level of development of the network of subsidiaries and the region of operation of the focal firm. The results suggested that the benefits of business group diversification are location bound within the region but that they are not related to the level of development of the targeted countries.

The three essays use longitudinal analyses on a sample of Latin American firms to test the hypotheses. While the first essay used multilevel models and fix effects models, the last two essays used exclusively fix effects models to assess the impact of business group diversification. In conclusion, this dissertation aimed to explain the capacity of business group diversification to generate value under conditions of institutional change.

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