The Performance of Chinese Outward FDI: Effects of past experience, learning capabilities and overall motivation

Marjorie Lyles, OneAmerica Chair in Business Administration, Indiana University, Indianapolis

Authors: Marjorie Lyles, Dan Li (, and Haifeng Yan (

29.Mar.2010 12.00 - 13.30
Room G.03, 20 Cromer Terrace - Leeds

Existing models of internationalization do not fully explain the international venturing of emerging economy private ventures (Oviatt & McDougall, 1994; Zahra, 2003). Using survey data of midsized private Chinese firms that have outward foreign direct investments (OFDI), this paper examines how international experiences, learning capabilities and overall motivations influence the OFDI performance. We hypothesize that each variable will positively affect the OFDI. We find that neither the founder’s nor the firm’s prior international experience has a direct impact on performance. While a direct effect of the potential absorptive capacity on performance is observed originally, we find that learning outcomes fully mediates the relationship. The firm’s overall motivation has a direct effect on performance and it is partially mediated by learning outcomes from its host country.

Marjorie Lyles is Professor of International Strategic Management at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and holds the OneAmerica Chair in Business Administration. She was founding Director of the Indiana University Center on Southeast Asia. She is a member of the Strategic Management Society, Academy of Management, Academy of International Business, and the American Management Association's International Council. She was an Invited Scholar and consultant for the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Peoples' Republic of China. She has been a visiting scholar at NIDA (Thailand), the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in France, the Universiti Sains Malaysia, and the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). She was the Arthur Andersen Distinguished Visiting Professor at Cambridge University (England). She served as Vice President of the Academy of International Business on the Executive Committee. She earned her Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.S. from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Professor Lyles has consulted with many government agencies and firms interested in organizational learning, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, technology development, and higher education. Her writings center on organizational learning, international strategies and cooperative alliances, and technology development particularly in emerging economies. She studies the performance of foreign direct investment projects and the utilization of joint ventures as a form of business development and entrepreneurship in transitional and evolving economies.

She has presented and authored over 100 articles on strategic management. Her research has appeared in such journals as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Long Range Planning, and the Journal of Management Studies. On her work on joint ventures, she has given presentations in numerous countries. She served on the editorial boards of the Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Journal of Management. She is coeditor of the Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning, 2003. She is listed in Outstanding Young Women in America and Who's Who in Finance and Industry.