Subsidiary capability upgrading under emerging market acquirers

Shaowei He, Zaheer Khan, Oded Shenkar

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


This article leverages a case study of a recent Chinese acquisition in the United Kingdom to explore the upgrading of capabilities in the subsidiaries in developed countries acquired by emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs). The seemingly implausible upgrading phenomenon is explained by the EMNEs’ complementary assets, their GVC lead firm positions and the unique power relationship between the acquirer and acquired firms, which enables the EMNEs to ‘impel’ upgrading and encourage ‘co-learning’ in their acquired subsidiaries. The contributions to the literature on EMNEs, global value chains, and organizational learning are outlined and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number2
Early online date7 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Dec 2017



  • China
  • Emerging economy multinational enterprises
  • acquisition
  • learning
  • subsidiary
  • upgrading

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