Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Leigh Anne Liu

Second Advisor

S. Tamer Cavusgil

Third Advisor

Qian Gu

Fourth Advisor

Naveen Donthu

Fifth Advisor

Seyda Deligonul

Sixth Advisor

Sengun Yeniyurt


The current global economy is best described as a competitive landscape where firms from different parts of the world roam in each other’s markets. This dissertation explores the factors influencing the performance of firms in foreign markets.

In the first essay, I explored a fundamental phenomenon for international business: Why can’t focal firms survive and withdraw from foreign markets? Drawing from contingency theory, I contend that an international market exit typically stems from a misalignment between strategy and the foreign market risk environment. The qualitative analysis of 62 actual cases suggests that most misalignments are cross-cultural risk-related and stem from failing to understand, misunderstand or underestimate customers and competition. Complementing my findings in the first essay, I aimed at exploring the key customer- and competition-related factors for success in international markets.

All economic actions carry on in a social realm, and, not surprisingly, relationships positively influence business success through mitigating liability of foreignness. The second essay of my dissertation is a theory paper about this phenomenon. We examine social interactions, both organizational and interpersonal, in intercultural settings. We extend social penetration theory into business-to-business context to explain the process of relational development between boundary spanners. We suggest a process model and three propositions to explain the different stages of developing relationships to shed light on the phenomenon of social penetration to international markets.

The international business literature, while extensive by now, has given scant attention to the direct comparison of the performance of advanced economy multinational enterprises (AMNE) and emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) in foreign markets. In particular, the question of how well these firms perform in each other’s home markets is a peculiar one. The third essay of my dissertation explores this topic by quantitative tools. Drawing from the eclectic paradigm, we contend that EMNEs perform better as they: i) develop non-traditional ownership advantages based on their learnings from AMNEs in home markets, and ii) expand into similar advanced economy markets relying also on non-traditional ownership advantages. Our findings show a declining performance of AMNEs, while EMNEs appear to benefit from increased market share.


File Upload Confirmation