Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale

New actors in the global arena: Southern Multinationals, sovereign wealth funds and born global companies

About the project

The main objective of this project is to develop an enhanced capacity for scholarly analysis of the emergence of Multinationals Firms from Emerging Countries (EMNCs) in order to establish and test empirically their impact on its stakeholders and to recommend changes to current policies and practices in this regard.

Title: The Emergence of Southern Multinationals and Their Impact on Europe

Principal Investigators:  Luis Brennan, Stefano Elia, Lucia Piscitello.

Funders: COST Action IS0905

Duration: 2010-2014

Partners: 24 European Universities. Leading university: Trinity College of Dublin (prof. L. Brennan)


Traditionally Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has flowed from advanced developed economies into developed and developing countries. More recently a new trend has emerged in the pattern of FDI. Outward FDI from emerging economies has begun to increase significantly and has been growing at a faster pace than FDI from the advanced developed world. Nowadays, investments from emerging countries represent more than one third of world outward FDIs. This project aims to study the dynamics underlying this phenomenon and its impact on the stakeholders. More specifically, the goal is to understand (i) the strategic behavior of multinational firms from emerging countries (EMNCs), e.g. in terms of entry mode and location choice; (ii) the impact of internationalization on EMNCs’ performance, e.g. in terms of financial and innovation outcome; (iii) the impact of FDI by EMNCs on acquired firms and on the host country economies. The final goal of the project is to reach a deeper comprehension of the phenomenon and to provide valuable implications and suggestions to stakeholders and policy makers, especially in Europe, as they grapple with this facet of globalization.


  • Buckley, P.J., Elia, S. Kafouros, M. (2018) “Acquisitions by emerging market multinationals: Implications for firm performance, in Buckley (Ed.), “The global Factory”, Elgar, UK.
  • Elia, S., Santangelo, G. (2017). The evolution of strategic asset-seeking acquisitions by emerging multinationals. International Business Review, Vol. 26, No. 5, Pages 855–866.
  • De Beule F., Elia S. and Piscitello L. (2014). Entry and access to competencies abroad: Emerging Market Firms versus Advanced market Firms. Journal of International Management, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 137–152
  • Elia, S., Piscitello, L., Scalera, V. (2016). Collaborative innovation within Chinese MNCs’ international networks. The role of cultural and institutional distances, in Brennan, L. and Bakir, C. (Eds), Emerging market multinationals in Europe, pp. 170-182, Routledge, London, ISBN 978-1-138-92018-7.
  • Elia, S. et al. (2014). Emerging market multinationals: opportunity or threat for Europe?. Policy Brief of COST Action IS0905
  • Buckley, P.J., Elia, S. Kafouros, M. (2014). Acquisitions by emerging market multinationals: Implications for firm performance, Journal of World Business, Vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 611-632.
  • Rabbiosi L., Elia S., Bertoni F. (2012). Acquisitions by EMNCs in Developed Markets: An Organisational Learning Perspective, Management International Review, Vol. 52, no. 2., pp. 193-212.
  • Bertoni F., Elia S., Rabbiosi L. (2012). Outward FDI from the BRICs: Trends and Patterns of Acquisitions in Advanced Countries, in Marin A. Marinov and Svetla T. Marinova (eds.), Emerging Economies and Firms in the Global Crisis, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN: 1137277467
  • Elia S., Buckley P. J., and Kafouros M. (2011), FDI from emerging to advanced countries: some insights on the acquisition strategies and on the performance of target firms, Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Vol. 38 (1), pp. 181 – 197.
  • Buckley P. J., Elia S. and Kafouros M. (2010). Acquisitions from emerging countries: What factors influence the performance of target firms in advanced countries?. European Journal of International Management, Vol. 4, n.1, pp. 30 – 47.
  • Elia, S., Kafouros, M., Buckley, P. J., Do Chinese MNEs improve their innovation performance from internationalization?. Paper submitted to a Journal.
  • Alon, I., Elia, S., Li, S. Governance environment theory of establishment modes: the case of Chinese multinational. Paper submitted to a Journal.
  • Elia, S., Munjal, S., Scalera V. Business Groups, Licensing and Performance. Paper submitted to a Journal.