The risk implications of multinational enterprise
Purpose ‐ Multinational structure has been linked to operational flexibilities that can improve corporate adaptability and a knowledge-based view suggests that multinational resource diversity can facilitate responsive opportunities. The enhanced maneuverability from this
can reduce earnings volatility and hence the corporate performance risk. But, the internationalization process may also require irreversible investments that increase corporate exposures and leave the risk implications of multinational enterprize somewhat ambiguous. Hence, the purpose of the
paper is to present an empirical study of the implied relationships between the degree of multinationality and various risk measures including downside risk, upside potential, and performance risk. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper provides a brief literature review, develops
hypotheses, and tests them in two-stage least square regressions on archival data to control for pre-selection biases. Findings ‐ The analyses indicate that multinationality is associated with lower downside risk as well as higher upside potential and leads to reduced performance
risk. The study finds no trace of diminishing effects from higher degrees of multinationality. Research limitations/implications ‐ The empirical study uses a sample of large US-based corporations, which could affect the generalizability of results. However, this is consistent
with other studies and eases comparability of findings. Practical implications ‐ The findings add to the ongoing debate about the risk effects of a multinational corporate structure and confirms that a diverse multinational presence is associated with positive risk outcomes.
Originality/value ‐ The paper complements a limited number of studies with equivocal results and adopts alternative risk outcome measures. The study extends the industry scope by introducing a comprehensive sample of firms operating in different manufacturing and service businesses.