We examine how the cross-national Mahalanobis distance between home and host countries may affect a multinational corporation subsidiary’s exit from its host country by applying a longitudinal Cox proportional hazard model analysis using data from Korean MNCs between 1990 and 2012. Our findings show that increasing cross-national distance is positively related to the likelihood of a subsidiary’s exit from the host country for most cross-national distance dimensions, while increasing cross-national distance is negatively related to the likelihood of a subsidiary’s exit from the host country for knowledge and global connectedness dimensions. However, the positive relationship between the seven dimensions of cross-national distance and subsidiary exit becomes weaker when the MNC has strong technological and experiential capabilities, while the negative relationship between two dimensions (i.e., knowledge and global connectedness) of cross-national distance and subsidiary exit becomes stronger. Our study contributes to the international business literature by examining the impact of diverse cross-national distance dimensions on subsidiary exit by showing the significance of firm capabilities in overcoming cross-national distance challenges, as well as by finding both a “problem-focused view” and “positive organizational perspective” in the results.
- Cross-national distance
- Mahalanobis distance
- Multinational corporation (MNC)
- MNC capabilities
- Subsidiary exit