Original Research

Corruption and multinational companies’ entry modes. Do linguistic and historical ties matter?

Marlene Grande, Aurora AC Teixeira
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 15, No 3 | a218 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v15i3.218 | © 2012 Marlene Grande, Aurora AC Teixeira | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 June 2011 | Published: 22 August 2012

About the author(s)

Marlene Grande, Universidade do Porto, Portugal
Aurora AC Teixeira, Universidade do Porto, Portugal

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The literature on FDI entry modes and corruption tends to convey the idea that corruption leads to a choice between low equity modes, i.e. joint ventures with local partners, and non-equity modes, namely exports and contracting, in order to avoid contact with corrupt state officials. Recently, some studies have argued that despite corruption, linguistic and historical ties between home and host countries lead MNCs to prefer high-equity modes. Focusing on a rather unexplored setting, the African countries, most specifically the Portuguese-speaking ones (PALOP – Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa), which include countries where levels of corruption are very high (e.g., Guinea-Bissau and Angola), high (e.g., Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe), and intermediate (e.g., Cape Verde), maintaining also close linguistic and historical ties with Portugal, we found that the FDI entry mode is associated with the less corrupt markets. Thus, our results do not support the recent contention that cultural and historical links are likely to perform a mediating role, by fostering foreign direct investment, in supporting African countries to overcome the dismal growth some have been facing in the last few decades. On the contrary, our findings highlight the pressing need for these countries to combat corruption if higher economic growth via FDI attraction is envisioned.


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doi: 10.1080/02589001.2019.1569753