Subsidiary capability upgrading under emerging market acquirers

S. He*, Zaheer Khan, Oded Shenkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


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
Pages (from-to)248-262
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number2
Early online date7 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


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


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