Internationalization of Turkish business groups: motives and institutional context

Sahin K., Tatoğlu E., Mert K., Kaplan T., Golgeci I.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EMERGING MARKETS, vol.19, no.5, pp.1407-1427, 2024 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/ijoem-06-2021-0974
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, ABI/INFORM, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.1407-1427
  • Keywords: Internationalization motives, Business groups, Institutional environment, Content analysis, Turkiye, EMERGING MARKETS, LOCATION CHOICE, JOINT VENTURE, MULTINATIONALS, LEVERAGE, LINKAGE, ENTRY
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose This paper aims to investigate the internationalization motives behind location choice among emerging country business groups (EBGs) and the way in which institutional factors affect Turkiye's foreign direct investment (FDI). Design/methodology/approach This study develops a multi-perspective framework that integrates the ownership, location and internalization (OLI) paradigm (Dunning and Lundan, 2008) and the linkage, leverage and learning (LLL) model (Mathews, 2006) with neo-institutional theory to explain the internationalization of EBGs. It adopts a multiple-case study research method relying on 14 semi-structured interviews with top executives to explore the internationalization strategy of a set of Turkish BGs. Findings This study supports the combination of the OLI paradigm, the LLL model and neo-institutional theory to explain EBGs' internationalizing behaviors. Turkish BGs have adopted both asset exploitation and asset augmentation internationalization strategies. The institutional legitimacy mechanism moderates the internationalization motives of Turkish BGs, and their host country location choice and normative pressures are more salient than their regulative and cognitive pressures. Research limitations/implications This study is based on a sample of EBGs from Turkiye, and this restriction limits the generalizability/applicability of the findings to BGs globally. Originality/value Few studies have considered EBGs and their internationalization strategies in the international business field. This paper puts forward an integrated framework for analyzing internationalization and legitimacy in the institutional context of EBGs. This study highlights that BGs bridge institutional voids. Focusing on Turkish BGs helps to answer Granovetter's Coasian question and contributes to the understanding of emerging countries' economic development.