Reverse knowledge acquisition in emerging market MNEs: the experiences of Huawei and ZTE

Xiaolan Fu, Zhongjuan Sun, Pervez N. Ghauri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
440 Downloads (Pure)


Based on case studies of leading Chinese MNEs' international operations in developed countries, this study develops a reverse knowledge acquisition model of emerging market MNEs through subsidiary-led reverse learning, knowledge sharing and integration processes. It unpacks MNEs' external learning process and contributes to the literature by exploring three mechanisms of learning, sharing and integration. It finds three reverse learning channels, a multi-level hub-spoke type of knowledge acquiring mechanism, and a two-tier three-step integration mechanism. The learning mechanism confirms knowledge acquisition driven by reverse learning behaviours; the sharing mechanism enriches the community perspective of capability building and sharing; the integration mechanism provides an effective way of knowledge integration within the MNEs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date3 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2018


  • Capability upgrading
  • Integration
  • Internationalisation
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Reverse learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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