Title: Overseas R&D investments of emerging market firms: the impact of top management team composition

Authors: Kiattichai Kalasin

Addresses: College of Management, Mahidol University, 69 Vipawadee Rangsit Road, Samsennai, Phayathai, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand

Abstract: Existing literature suggests that capability building is the primary motive behind the R&D internationalisation of emerging market (EM) firms. The literature, however, has not adequately examined the impact the top management team's (TMT) composition on R&D internationalisation. Building on the upper echelon theory, this study investigates the effect of the TMT's international exposure on an EM firm's decision to set up R&D centres overseas in advanced economies. The study also explores the moderating role of the CEO-age mechanism on this relationship. Data from a sample of 170 firms from 11 EMs over a six-year period indicate that TMT composition has a positive impact on the capability-building strategy of EM firms. Experience in international settings enables managers to explore technology and acquire greater foreign knowledge, while the CEO-age does not moderate the relationship observed between a TMT's international exposure and its foreign R&D centre.

Keywords: top management teams; TMT; overseas R&D centres; emerging markets; upper echelon theory; international exposure; R&D investment; research and development; team composition; R&D internationalisation; moderating role; CEOs; age; capability building.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEM.2014.060511

International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets, 2014 Vol.6 No.2, pp.183 - 200

Available online: 17 Apr 2014 *

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