Xiaoyan MA

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Marketing and International Business

First Advisor

Prof. Geng Cui

Second Advisor

Prof. Tsang-sing Chan


This study examines the role of inward activities in the internationalization of firms from China and proposes a theoretical framework of internationalization using the contingent resource theory. Based on case studies of four Chinese enterprises and a survey of Chinese manufacturing firms, the study shows that by engaging in inward activities, firms may acquire the critical resources that can lead to outward activities and the internationalization process. Whether firms can succeed in internationalization is conditional upon several contingency factors including management motivation, absorptive capacity, resource fungibility, exploration strategy, exploitation strategy and government support. Lastly, we explore the implications of the inward activities-based approach to internationalization, internationalization strategies for firms from developing economies, and the directions for future research.

Recommended Citation

Ma, X. (2007). Internationalization of Chinese firms: A contingent resource perspective (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from