Article co-authored by Xiaolan Fu about impact of returnees on Chinese firms wins IBR Best Journal Paper Award

19 December, 2018

An article co-authored by Professor Xiaolan Fu exploring how Chinese firms acquire knowledge and experience in international markets by attracting returnees has won the 2018 International Business Review Best Journal Paper of the Year Award.

The paper, 'Highly skilled returnees and the internationalization of EMNEs: Firm level evidence from China’ was co-authored with Jun Hou of Lincoln University and Marco Sanfilippo of the University of Bari, Italy.

The paper, which uses an original firm-level survey from Guangdong province, finds that there is a strong and positive relation between a firm’s choice of hiring returnees and its propensity to embark on foreign direct investment (FDI).

It also shows that not all returnees contribute equally to the internationalisation of firms; it is mainly those individuals in the most strategic functions, such as management and sales, who determine both the propensity and the level of overseas direct investment.

Finally, it finds that the presence of returnees is particularly effective for less experienced firms since it can help reduce the time taken to build capabilities and provide direct access to the knowledge necessary to invest abroad.

The award, which was announced at the European International Business Academy (EIBA) conference this month, is given for ‘the best IBR article (published in the previous year’s volume) in terms of enhancing the field of International Business research in the future’.

Xiaolan Fu is Professor of Technology and International Development at ODID and Director of the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD).

Fu, Xiaolan, Jun Hou, Marco Sanfilippo (2017) 'Highly skilled returnees and the internationalization of EMNEs: Firm level evidence from China', International Business Review 26 (3) 579–91.