The State of Research on Multinationals and Emerging Markets

By Pillania, Rajesh K.; Fetscherin, Marc | Multinational Business Review, Summer 2009 | Go to article overview
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The State of Research on Multinationals and Emerging Markets

Pillania, Rajesh K., Fetscherin, Marc, Multinational Business Review


The purpose of this article is to investigate the state of research on multinationals and emerging markets. For this we look at existing literature from the disparate fields in which multinationals and emerging markets have been explored in the last forty years (1968-2008). The paper finds that there is a plethora of material on multinationals and emerging markets and our bibliographical search resulted in 1,282 articles with 2,174 authors published in 514 journals. The three dominant disciplines and their underlying journals are management, business and economics accounting together about seventy percent of all publications. In the case of the management and business journals, the top ten percent account for fourty-three percent of all publications and fifty percent of all citations. The most productive and influential journals are JIBS and HBR.

Keywords: Multinationals, Emerging Markets, Bibliometric Analysis, Literature Review.


Emerging markets are increasingly becoming the growth drivers of the global economy and there is increased scrutiny and interest in emerging markets since the 1990s. The interest can be viewed from a demand and supply perspective. With a huge population and increasing income, emerging economies provide a big market for goods and services. Also, with talented manpower and low costs, emerging economies are supplying more and more goods and services to the world (Pillania, 2009). Multinational corporations (MNCs) play a very important role in global business and economy. There is an increased interest in research and explanation for emerging markets and MNCs (London and Hart, 2004; Meyer, 2004; Ramamurti, 2004; Khanan et al., 2005; Pillania, 2009).

This article contributes to a better understanding of the research field of multinationals and emerging markets as well as knowledge on key disciplines, journals, and articles. Bibliometric analysis represents a relatively new form of meta-analytical research or "meta-review" of the literature (Kim and McMillan, 2008). It is valuable in illustrating the links between and among scholarly works and the nature of development in a given research field or discipline by measuring and analyzing published materials (Borgman, 2000). Citation analysis is a bibliometric technique that considers a citation as the basic unit of analysis (Kim and McMillan, 2008). Initially, it has been used in diverse range of disciplines in the science and humanities (Price, 1976; White and McCain, 1989; Wiberley, 2003), and only recently in social science (Glanzel, 1996) such as communications (Pasadeos et ah, 1999), advertising (Kim and McMillan, 2008), marketing (Arnott, 2007), and international management (Acedo and Casilla, 2005).

The research note consists of four parts including this introductory part. The next part elaborates the research methodology used. Part three presents the results and discussion whereas the last part concludes the research note.


Bibliometric analysis is based on the assumption that researchers publish their most important findings in scholarly articles which base their research predominantly on materials previously published in high quality outlets (Van Raan, 2003). Data for our analyses were collected in November 2008 from the ISI Web of Science databases consisting of the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-expanded), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI). We searched articles published over the last 40 years (1968-2008). In order to collect comprehensive data, the publication needed to be classified as an article on the topic including a combination of the following terms multinational(s) or global or transnational(s) and corporation(s) or enterprise(s) or firm(s) or company(ies) and emerging or developing and market(s) or economy or economies or country(ies). We searched 'in topic' for articles as this allows us to search the title, the abstract, the keywords.

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