Organizational slack as an enabler of internationalization: The case of large Brazilian firms

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In this paper, we address an empirical puzzle. We note that a deliberate and serious drive to internationalize has occurred rather late in the evolution of large Brazilian firms. Meanwhile, and despite their late internationalization, these Brazilian firms expanded rapidly and intently. Despite the rich literature on Emerging Market Multinational Enterprises (EMNEs), there is still much contention on what drives rapid EMNE internationalization, particularly for the less explored firms from Latin America. Using an inductive case study of five leading Brazilian MNEs, we bring new insights on this neglected question. We unveil that the existence of organizational slack (of operational, managerial, and financial nature) can indeed facilitate rapid internationalization, particularly when triggered by unique home country conditions (e.g., regulation; rising cost of doing business at home; exhaustion of profitable growth opportunities in the domestic market). © 2018 Elsevier Ltd