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Emerging Markets as Learning Laboratories: Learning Behaviors ofLocal Firms and Foreign Entrants in Different InstitutionalContexts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2015

Haiyang Li
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, Rice University
William J. Worthington
Mays Business School, Texas A&M University


In this work, we examine and integrate the research streams on learningbehaviours of both local firms and foreign entrants in emerging markets. Wepropose that local firms and foreign entrants differ in the types oflearning pursued and in the learning processes used. While emerging marketfirms engage in a significant amount of exploratory learning, they alsoattempt to exploit the newly gained knowledge in their current markets.Furthermore, foreign entrants engage in exploitative learning as expectedbut also must participate in exploratory learning to acquire knowledge ofculture, institutional norms, and important social relationships. While muchof the learning occurs through cooperative processes with both partners,they also each engage in experiential learning. We argue that emergingmarkets also differ; firms in the more mature emerging markets seekdifferent types of learning and the learning processes used vary compared tothose in less mature emerging markets. Our research suggests that emergingmarkets represent learning laboratories and provide a base to catalysefuture research.

Copyright © International Association for Chinese Management Research 2005

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