Previous studies have suggested that (1) a type of organizational capabilities—namely, political capabilities—are required for multinational corporations (MNCs) to grow in global markets, (2) political capabilities are important for building productive relations with governments in politically risky host countries, and (3) MNCs can develop political capabilities by accumulating foreign experiences. However, empirical studies have found both positive and negative effects of such experiences on global market expansions. This study attributes such mixed findings to our lack of understanding about MNCs’ procurement processes of political capabilities and proposes types of experiences critical for such procurements by focusing on their reactions to political changes in host countries. Using data on the global mining industry and political changes in host countries, we find that MNCs develop political capabilities and thus make entries into politically risky host countries when they accumulate the experience of partially divesting some of their assets after political changes in host countries. We also find that MNCs are less likely to enter such countries if they have more experiences of exiting from host countries following political change.
ASJC Scopus subject areas