Reconciling the advantages and liabilities of foreignness: Towards an identity-based framework

Jesper Edman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


This article leverages identity theory to address the question of when and how foreignness acts as an advantage and liability for the MNE subsidiary. Applying an organizational identity lens, I delineate how subsidiaries manage their foreignness by accentuating and attenuating internal and external organizational attributes. Drawing on this conceptualization, I theorize how an accentuated foreign identity moderates context-specific advantages and liabilities. In offering a more nuanced understanding of how subsidiaries actively manage their foreignness, and its contextual implications, an identity-based framework helps to both explain and reconcile the advantages and liabilities of foreignness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-694
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Foreignness
  • Identity
  • Institutional theory
  • Subsidiary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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