Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 669–691 | Cite as

Varieties of capitalism and the internationalization of state-owned enterprises

  • Sergio Mariotti
  • Riccardo MarzanoEmail author


This article sheds light on how the internationalization of state-owned enterprises is influenced by the state involvement in ownership and by the home country’s institutional settings. Integrating international business literature with the debate on the varieties of capitalism, we contend that state-dominated enterprises internationalize more (less) than privately owned enterprises in coordinated (liberal) market economies, whereas they exhibit an inconstant behavior in state-influenced market economies. Our analysis on a sample of enterprises pertaining to 20 OECD countries supports our hypotheses. This article adds to studies on the influence of institutions on firms’ internationalization and has implications for both managers and policymakers.


business/government interaction and relations internationalization state-owned enterprises varieties of capitalism institutional theory multiple regression analysis 


Cet article met en lumière la manière dont l’internationalisation des entreprises publiques est influencée par la participation de l’État dans le capital et par le cadre institutionnel du pays d’origine. En intégrant la littérature en international business au débat sur les variétés du capitalisme, nous affirmons que les entreprises dominées par l’État s’internationalisent plus (moins) que les entreprises privées dans les économies de marché coordonnées (libérales), alors qu’elles affichent un comportement inconstant dans les économies de marché influencées par l’État. Notre analyse sur un échantillon d’entreprises appartenant à vingt pays de l’OCDE confirme nos hypothèses. Cet article vient s’ajouter aux études sur l’influence des institutions sur l’internationalisation des entreprises et a des implications pour les dirigeants et les décideurs politiques.


Este artículo esclarece sobre cómo la internacionalización de empresas de propiedad del estado es influenciada por la participación estatal en la propiedad y por los entornos institucionales del país de origen. Integrando la literatura de negocios internacionales con el debate de las variedades de capitalismo, sostenemos que las empresas dominadas por el estado se internacionalizan más (menos) que las empresas privadas en económicas de mercado coordinadas (liberales), en tanto que exhiben un comportamiento inconstante en las economías de mercado influenciadas por el estado. Nuestro análisis en una muestra de empresas pertenecientes a veinte países de la OCDE apoya nuestras hipótesis. Este artículo se suma a los estudios sobre la influencia de las instituciones en la internacionalización de empresas y tiene implicaciones tanto para los gerentes como para los encargados de políticas.


Este artigo esclarece como a internacionalização de empresas estatais é influenciada pelo envolvimento do Estado na propriedade e pelos arranjos institucionais do país de origem. Integrando a literatura em negócios internacionais com o debate sobre as variedades do capitalismo, afirmamos que as empresas dominadas pelo Estado se internacionalizam mais (menos) do que as empresas privadas em economias de mercado coordenadas (liberais), enquanto exibem um comportamento inconstante em economias de mercado influenciadas pelo Estado. Nossa análise em uma amostra de empresas pertencentes a vinte países da OCDE corrobora nossas hipóteses. Este artigo contribui para estudos sobre a influência das instituições na internacionalização de empresas e tem implicações tanto para administradores quanto para os formuladores de políticas.


本文阐述了国有企业的国际化如何受国家对所有权的参与以及受母国制度环境的影响。我们将国际商务文献与关于资本主义多样性的辩论相结合, 认为国家主导的企业在协调的(自由的)市场经济中比私营企业更多(少)国际化, 而它们在受国家影响的市场经济中则表现出不一致的行为。我们对20个经合组织国家的企业样本的分析支持了我们的假设。 本文对制度对企业国际化的影响的研究做出了贡献, 并给管理者和决策者带来启示。



Our heartfelt thanks go to Ilan Vertinsky and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. Your efforts helped us improve this paper.


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© Academy of International Business 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Economics and Industrial EngineeringDIG - Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Computer, Control and Management EngineeringDIAG - Sapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly

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