Internationalization and digitalization are superimposed at present. Some emerging market enterprises (EMNEs) are catching up or even surpassing the original incumbents. The initial resources and capabilities of EMNEs are not outstanding and traditional strategic theories cannot fully explain the EMNEs’ phenomenon of defeating the strong by the weak. Cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs provides a more enlightening theoretical perspective. Cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs refers to that EMNEs continue to cross the boundaries of technology, industry and geography, creatively integrate various resources and capabilities, continuously iterate products and services, and then form the compositional competitive advantage. The theoretical assumption of cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs is organizational boundary dynamics. Based on the theoretical assumption, firstly, this article demonstrates the natural compatibility of cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs, and clarifies the three-dimensional, global and open characteristics of cross-boundary assemblage. Second, this article combs the theoretical foundation of cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs—strategic management theory and interdisciplinary theory, refines the influencing factors of cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs from the two aspects of external and internal driving forces, and describes the dynamic process of cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs. It expounds the profound relationship between cross-boundary assemblage and EMNEs’ compositional competitive advantages at the organizational and individual levels, puts forward the necessity and specific path for EMNEs to control the negative impact of cross-boundary assemblage, and finally constructs the three-stage dynamic theoretical framework of cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs. On this basis, this article puts forward the future research directions of cross-boundary assemblage, mainly including: Qualitative research on how to deeply describe the specific process of EMNEs implementing cross-boundary assemblage, and how EMNEs resolve the negative impact of cross-boundary assemblage; how EMNEs respond to the heterogeneous impact of globalization on cross-boundary assemblage; how EMNEs deal with the opportunities and challenges brought by digitization to cross-boundary assemblage; how cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs affect the breadth and depth of their international social responsibility; how EMNEs build organizational resilience through cross-boundary assemblage. The theoretical contributions of this article are as follows: It explains the mystery of corner-overtaking of EMNEs and expands the classical strategic theories represented by the resource-based view (RBV); cross-boundary assemblage of EMNEs is more specific than other strategic frontier theories like the resource orchestration theory. The practical contribution of this article is to provide feasible solutions for the strategic choice and tactical execution of EMNEs, which contributes to the rise of more EMNEs.
A Review and Prospects of Cross-boundary Assemblage of EMNEs
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 43, Issue 10, pp. 85 - 102 (2021) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20210603.101
 Cai Li, Yin Miaomiao. Research on the impact of new ventures' learning ability and resource integration methods on corporate performance[J]. Journal of Management World, 2009, (10): 1-10.
 Cheng Jin, Bai Haiqing, Liu Dan. How does CEO promote the integration of the executive team's behavior-based on the explanation of structured theory[J]. Journal of Management World, 2017, (02): 159-173.
 Liu Yang, Wei Jiang, Jiang Shisong. How do the latecomer firms catch up in innovation? A study from the perspective of the boundary expanding in R&D[J]. Journal of Management World, 2013, (03): 96-110.
 Luo Yadong, Sun Jinyun, Wu Yajun. A theory of amalgamation (He): A new paradigm of strategic theory based on oriental culture[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2015, (06): 3-25.
 Luo Zhongwei, Ren Guoliang, Jiao Hao et al. Dynamic capabilities, technological paradigm transformation and innovation strategies——A longitudinal case analysis based on Tencent's We-chat "integration" and "iterative" micro-innovation[J]. Journal of Management World, 2014, (08): 152-168.
 Wang Delu, Zhang Mier, Zhou Min. Review on enterprise technological capability study during industry conversion—Referring the reforging route of technological capability[J]. Journal of Management Sciences in China, 2006, (03): 74-80.
 Wang Ruyu, Liang Qi, Li Guangqian. Virtual agglomeration: a new form of spatial organization that integrates a new generation of information technology and the real economy[J]. Journal of Management World, 2018, (02): 13-21.
 Wei Jiang, Xu Lei. Dual embeddings of knowledge network，knowledge integration，and innovation
capabilities of clustered firms[J]. Journal of Management Sciences in China, 2014, (02): 34-47.
 Xue Huijuan. Retrospect and Prospect of Research on Cross-Border Behaviors of Foreign Teams[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2010, (9): 10-15.
 Yang Deming, Bi Jianqin. “Internet plus”， entrepreneurs’ external investment and corporate valuation[J]. China Industrial Economics, 2019, (06): 136-153.
 Ye Jiangfeng, Chen Shan, Hao Bin. How does knowledge search influence enterprise innovation performance? a literature review and prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2020, (03): 17-34.
 Zhang Ke, Gao Qingkun. Research on the construction of enterprise's core competitiveness based on breakthrough technological innovation[J]. Journal of Management World, 2013, (06): 180-181.
 Zhang Xiao, Wu Qin, Yu Xin. The logic of cross-boundary disrupt innovation of enterprises at internet age[J]. China Industrial Economics, 2019, (03): 156-174.
 Zhu Ruibo, Liu Zhiyang, Liu Yun. The innovation in framework, the ecological optimization, and the great leap forward of latecomer firms: A theoretic exploration founded on the innovational practice of the companies-BYD, MTK, Huawei and ZPMC[J]. Journal of Management World, 2011, (07): 69-97.
 Zhu Xiaohong, Chen Hansong, Zhang Teng. Iterative innovation in the construction of platform-based enterprises in the era of knowledge economy: A comparative case study from the dynamic capabilities perspective[J]. Journal of Management World, 2019, (03): 142-156.
 Afuah A. Dynamic boundaries of the firm: Are firms better off being vertically integrated in the face of a technological change?[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2001, 44(6): 1211-1228.
 Afuah A. Redefining firm boundaries in the face of the internet: Are firms really shrinking[J]. Academy of Management Review,2003, 28(1): 34-53.
 Aldrich H, Herker D. Boundary spanning roles and organization structure[J]. Academy of Management Review,1977, 2(2): 217-230.
 Banalieva E R, Dhanaraj C. Internalization theory for the digital economy[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2019, 50(8): 1372-1387.
 Barner-Rasmussen W, Ehrnrooth M, Koveshnikov A, et al. Cultural and language skills as resources for boundary spanning within the MNC[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2014, 45(7): 886-905.
 Bhusal N, Abdelmalak M, Kamruzzaman M, et al. Power system resilience: Current practices, challenges, and future directions[J]. IEEE Access,2020, 8: 18064-18086.
 Birkinshaw J, Ambos T C, Bouquet C. Boundary spanning activities of corporate HQ executives insights from a longitudinal study[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2017, 54(4): 422-454.
 Bouty I. Interpersonal and interaction influences on informal resource exchanges between R&D researchers across organizational boundaries[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2000, 43(1): 50-65.
 Brusoni S, Prencipe A. Managing knowledge in loosely coupled networks: Exploring the links between product and knowledge dynamics[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2001, 38(7): 1019-1035.
 Buckley P J, Hashai N. A global system view of firm boundaries[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2004, 35(1): 33-45.
 Carraher S M, Sullivan S E, Crocitto M M. Mentoring across global boundaries: An empirical examination of home- and host-country mentors on expatriate career outcomes[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2008, 39(8): 1310-1326.
 Chen W, Kamal F. The impact of information and communication technology adoption on multinational firm boundary decisions[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2016, 47(5): 563-576.
 Chen Y C, Hu L T, Tseng K C, et al. Cross-boundary e-government systems: Determinants of performance[J]. Government Information Quarterly,2019, 36(3): 449-459.
 Child J. Strategic choice in the analysis of action, structure, organizations and environment: Retrospect and prospect[J]. Organization Studies,1997, 18(1): 43-76.
 Coase R H. The nature of the firm[J]. Economica,1937, 4(16): 386-405.
 Colman H L, Rouzies A. Post-acquisition boundary spanning: A relational perspective on integration[J]. Journal of Management,2019, 45(5): 2225-2253.
 Dailey R C, Morgan C P. Personal characteristics and job involvement as antecedents of boundary spanning behaviour: A path analysis[J]. Journal of Management Studies,1978, 15(3): 330-339.
 De Vries T A, Walter F, Van Der Vegt G, et al. Antecedents of individuals’ interteam coordination: Broad functional experiences as a mixed blessing[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2014, 57(5): 1334-1359.
 Dollinger M J. Environmental boundary spanning and information processing effects on organizational performance[J]. The Academy of Management Journal,1984, 27(2): 351-368.
 Fennell M L, Alexander J A. Organizational boundary spanning in institutionalized environments[J]. Academy of Management Journal,1987, 30(3): 456-476.
 Fleming L, Waguespack D M. Brokerage, boundary spanning, and leadership in open innovation communities[J]. Organization Science,2007, 18(2): 165-180.
 Geletkanycz M A, Hambrick D C. The external ties of top executives: Implications for strategic choice and performance[J]. Administrative Science Quarterly,1997, 42(4): 654-681.
 Goldfarb A, Tucker C. Digital economics[J]. Journal of Economic Literature,2019, 57(1): 3-43.
 Griffin-El E W, Olabisi J. Breaking boundaries: Exploring the process of intersective market activity of immigrant entrepreneurship in the context of high economic inequality[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2018, 55(3): 457-485.
 Gruber M, Harhoff D, Hoisl K. Knowledge recombination across technological boundaries: Scientists vs. Engineers[J]. Management Science,2013, 59(4): 837-851.
 Hsiao R L, Tsai D D, Lee C F. Collaborative knowing: The adaptive nature of cross-boundary spanning[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2012, 49(3): 463-491.
 Ibarra H. Network centrality, power, and innovation involvement: Determinants of technical and administrative roles[J]. The Academy of Management Journal,1993, 36(3): 471-501.
 Jacobides M G, Cennamo C, Gawer A. Towards a theory of ecosystems[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2018, 39(8): 2255-2276.
 Jacobides M G, Winter S G. Entrepreneurship and firm boundaries: The theory of a firm[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2007, 44(7): 1213-1241.
 Jemison D B. The importance of boundary spanning roles in strategic decision-making[J]. Journal of Management Studies,1984, 21(2): 131-152.
 Kane A A, Levina N. “Am I still one of them?”: Bicultural immigrant managers navigating social identity threats when spanning global boundaries[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2017, 54(4): 540-577.
 Katz J, Gartner W B. Properties of emerging organizations[J]. Academy of Management Review,1988, 13(3): 429-441.
 Katz R, Tushman M L. A longitudinal study of the effects of boundary spanning supervision on turnover and promotion in research and development[J]. Academy of Management Journal,1983, 26(3): 437-456.
 Keller R T, Holland W E. Boundary-spanning roles in a research and development organization: An empirical investigation[J]. Academy of Management Journal,1975, 18(2): 388-393.
 Killgore W D S, Taylor E C, Cloonan S A, et al. Psychological resilience during the COVID-19 lockdown[J]. Psychiatry Research,2020, 291: 113216.
 Klueter T, Monteiro F. How does performance feedback affect boundary spanning in multinational corporations? Insights from technology scouts[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2017, 54(4): 483-510.
 Leifer R, Delbecq A. Organizational/environmental interchange: A model of boundary spanning activity[J]. Academy of Management Review,1978, 3(1): 40-50.
 Levina N, Vaast E. The emergence of boundary spanning competence in practice: Implications for implementation and use of information systems[J]. MIS Quarterly,2005, 29(2): 335-363.
 Li J T, Chen L, Yi J T, et al. Ecosystem-specific advantages in international digital commerce[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2019, 50(9): 1448-1463.
 Li Y, Zhang Y A, Shi W. Navigating geographic and cultural distances in international expansion: The paradoxical roles of firm size, age, and ownership[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2020, 41(5): 921-949.
 Lifshitz-Assaf H. Dismantling knowledge boundaries at NASA: The critical role of professional identity in open innovation[J]. Administrative Science Quarterly,2018, 63(4): 746-782.
 Luo Y D. Antecedents and consequences of personal attachment in cross-cultural cooperative ventures[J]. Administrative Science Quarterly,2001, 46(2): 177-201.
 Luo Y D, Tung R L. A general theory of springboard MNEs[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2018, 49(2): 129-152.
 Luo Y D. New OLI advantages in digital globalization[J]. International Business Review,2021, 30: 101797.
 Macher J T, Boerner C. Technological development at the boundaries of the firm: A knowledge-based examination in drug development[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2012, 33(9): 1016-1036.
 Maksimov V, Luo Y D. International springboard as an entrepreneurial act[J]. Journal of World Business,2021, 56(3): 101176.
 Markman G D, Gianiodis P T, Buchholtz A K. Factor-market rivalry[J]. Academy of Management Review,2009, 34(3): 423-441.
 Markóczy L, Li S, Peng M W, et al. Social network contingency, symbolic management, and boundary stretching[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2013, 34(11): 1367-1387.
 Marrone J A, Tesluk P E, Carson J B. A multilevel investigation of antecedents and consequences of team member boundary-spanning behavior[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2007, 50(6): 1423-1439.
 Marrone J A. Team boundary spanning: A multilevel review of past research and proposals for the future[J]. Journal of Management,2010, 36(4): 911-940.
 McGrath R G. A real options logic for initiating technology positioning investments[J]. Academy of Management Review,1997, 22(4): 974-996.
 Reinecke J, Donaghey J. Political CSR at the coalface–The roles and contradictions of multinational corporations in developing workplace dialogue[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2021, 58(2): 457-486.
 Reyt J N, Wiesenfeld B M. Seeing the forest for the trees: Exploratory learning, mobile technology, and knowledge workers’ role integration behaviors[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2015, 58(3): 739-762.
 Roberts M J D, Beamish P W. The scaffolding activities of international returnee executives: A learning based perspective of global boundary spanning[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2017, 54(4): 511-539.
 Santos F M, Eisenhardt K M. Constructing markets and shaping boundaries: Entrepreneurial power in nascent fields[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2009, 52(4): 643-671.
 Schotter A P J, Mudambi R, Doz Y L, et al. Boundary spanning in global organizations[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2017, 54(4): 403-421.
 Schwab R C, Ungson C R, Brown W B. Redefining the boundary spanning-environment relationship[J]. Journal of Management,1985, 11(1): 75-86.
 Shipilov A, Godart F C, Clement J. Which boundaries? How mobility networks across countries and status groups affect the creative performance of organizations[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2017, 38(6): 1232-1252.
 Spekman R E. Influence and information: An exploratory investigation of the boundary role person’s basis of power[J]. Academy of Management Journal,1979, 22(1): 104-117.
 Stamper C L, Johlke M C. The impact of perceived organizational support on the relationship between boundary spanner role stress and work outcomes[J]. Journal of Management,2003, 29(4): 569-588.
 Steensma H K, Corley K G. Organizational context as a moderator of theories on firm boundaries for technology sourcing[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2001, 44(2): 271-291.
 Teece D J. Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of(sustainable)enterprise performance[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2007, 28(13): 1319-1350.
 Tippmann E, Sharkey Scott P, Parker A. Boundary capabilities in MNCs: Knowledge transformation for creative solution development[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2017, 54(4): 455-482.
 Tortoriello M, Krackhardt D. Activating cross-boundary knowledge: The role of simmelian ties in the generation of innovations[J]. Academy of Management Journal,2010, 53(1): 167-181.
 Tsui A S, Schriesheim C A. Exploring individual and organizational boundaries: A tavistock open systems approach[J]. Academy of Management Review,1980, 5(2): 308-310.
 Tushman M L, Katz R. External communication and project performance: An investigation into the role of gatekeepers[J]. Management Science,1980, 26(11): 1071-1085.
 Tushman M L, Scanlan T J. Boundary spanning individuals: Their role in information transfer and their antecedents[J]. Academy of Management Journal,1981, 24(2): 289-305.
 Witt M A. De-globalization: Theories, predictions, and opportunities for international business research[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2019, 50(7): 1053-1077.
 Yagi N, Kleinberg J. Boundary work: An interpretive ethnographic perspective on negotiating and leveraging cross-cultural identity[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2011, 42(5): 629-653.
 Yoo J W, Reed R, Shin S J, et al. Strategic choice and performance in late movers: Influence of the top management team’s external ties[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2009, 46(2): 308-335.
 Zander I. Do you see what I mean? An entrepreneurship perspective on the nature and boundaries of the firm[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2007, 44(7): 1141-1164.
 Zhao Z J, Anand J. Beyond boundary spanners: The ‘collective bridge’ as an efficient interunit structure for transferring collective knowledge[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2013, 34(13): 1513-1530.
 Zietsma C, Lawrence T B. Institutional work in the transformation of an organizational field: The interplay of boundary work and practice work[J]. Administrative Science Quarterly,2010, 55(2): 189-221.
Cite this article
Li Yuanxu, Hu Yafei. A Review and Prospects of Cross-boundary Assemblage of EMNEs[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2021, 43(10): 85-102.
Previous: From Digital Technology to Digital Entrepreneurship: Connotation, Characteristics and Internal Connection