Keywords: Bartlett and Ghoshal typology, international management, China, Germany, empirical study, internationalisation strategies, multinational enterprises, MNEs, transnational strategies, globalisation
Internationalisation strategies of multinationals in Germany and the People's Republic of China – a comparison
Our study validates the Bartlett and Ghoshal typology for international, multinational, and transnational firms using a comparative match pair sample of German and Chinese firms. We chose to compare firms in these two countries because of the role Germany has played as the world export champion and the rapid international business expansion of the People's Republic of China. Based on survey data we compared international firms that have their headquarters in Germany with those located in China. The effect of the internationalisation degree on the firm type turned out, as expected, to be very significant. Contrary to our predictions however, Chinese firms were more likely than German firms to adopt transnational strategies and structures. PRC appears to be moving more quickly than expected to the 'transnational model'. This result is consistent with the observation that the Chinese economy is developing and globalising at an even faster rate than Japan did in the 1960s.