Varieties in State Capitalism: Outward FDI Strategies of Central and Local State Owned Enterprises from Emerging Economy Countries



This paper conceptualises the heterogeneity of SOEs as an outcome of different institutional reform processes in emerging economies which create diversity between central and local SOEs along multiple organisational dimensions. It also theorises the impacts of such characteristic differences on SOEs’ FDI strategies. We develop a trickle-down theoretical framework linking comparative capitalisms and diversity in capitalism theories to sociological institutionalism by advancing the idea of ‘institutions-as-configurations’ to elucidate how macro-institutional reforms can engender institutional diversity and evolution of different types of SOEs with distinct behaviours and agendas. Our main contribution lies in identifying macro patterns of institutional change as sources of micro level heterogeneity among SOEs and highlighting the implications of such diversity for their FDI strategies. A number of testable propositions are derived to guide future empirical studies.