The aim of this book has been to better understand the extent, nature and roots of the competitive advantage of emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) and, in particular, the ways in which their internationalisation is contributing to the enhancement of that competitive advantage. To do so we examined three, inter-related factors that might potentially help EMNEs build competitive advantage: innovation, value-chain configuration and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A); we compared and contrasted the experience of firms from each of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). We now step back to draw some conclusions from this analysis.
We begin with some general observations about the way innovation, value-chain configuration and cross-border M&A appear to interact to create competitive advantage for EMNEs. Our aim is to provide a framework that will help to bring together the various strands of our analysis and provide an appropriate context for the interpretation of our findings. With this integrated framework in mind, we offer generalisations about the competitive advantages of EMNEs observed from the evidence in the earlier chapters. In doing so, we show how some of the puzzles that the behaviour of EMNEs has posed for international business theorists might be resolved. We also discuss whether findings from our BRIC sample might apply to the next rung of emerging economies. Finally, we look at the implications for managers of the appearance of EMNEs as global competitors (both for managers within incumbent competitors and the EMNEs themselves) and for policy makers in governments.