Benefitting From Immigration

Benefitting from immigration: The value of immigrants’ country knowledge for firm internationalization

Public Lecture with Jonas Puck

Migrants are able to provide firms with knowledge about their country of origin. This can become a valuable source of knowledge for firms in the process of internationalization. Relating to a Knowledge-Based-View perspective, this paper explains how the resource commitment of firms to foreign countries is contingent on immigration from those countries: Immigrants’ country knowledge reduces uncertainty and makes the governance of foreign operations more efficient. Moreover, this paper connects the relevance of knowledge for firm internationalization to institutional characteristics in immigrants’ home and host countries, both of which policymakers can shape. We test predictions on more than 13,000 observations over a 14-year period (2003–2016). The paper identifies economically significant contingencies of a positive effect of immigration, which are robust to changes in model specification, measurement, and sampling. The results indicate how immigration can shape firms’ investments abroad and have implications for developing policy as well as international business theory

Jonas Puck is Head of the Institute for International Business and Full Professor at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. He previously held positions at Nuremberg University, Germany, the University of New South Wales, Australia, the University of International Business and Education, China and the Bradford University School of Management, UK. He also is a past president of the European International Business Academy. He earned a Dipl.-Kfm., a PhD in International Management and a postdoctoral qualification (Habilitation) from Nuremberg University. His current research interests lie in the overlaps of global strategy, finance, and political science, often with an industry focus on energy and extractive industries.

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