Cultural distance and cross-border replication of China Multinational Corporations

Zhi Wang, Bo Zhou, Stuart Horsburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growing research interest in sociocultural issues in relation to global economic activity motivates this paper to postulate a set of behavioural mechanisms that contribute to the debate on cultural distance and Multinational Corporations (MNC) cross-border replication (reproduction) of economic activity. The empirical tests draw on a data base comprising 289 managers (R&D and product development professionals) employed by China MNC (CMNC) subsidiaries operating across 150 countries. First, the results reveal a negative relationship between cultural distance and CMNC cross-border replication. Second, the negative coefficients suggest that cultural distance is moderated through culturally transmitted information, specifically, social norms related to reciprocity and the prevalence of prosocial behaviours such as cooperation. Finally, in using the moderator and mediator in the analysis, the results demonstrate that the mediator variables (capacity for cross-cultural adaptation, cooperation, reciprocation norms, and language) positively lead to CMNC replication, while the experiential factors (of subsidiary operating years and managerial experience) significantly moderate cultural distance. The findings support the model that contributes to the extant literature by demonstrating sociocultural determinants of economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages46
JournalForum for Social Economics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020


  • CMNC
  • cultural distance
  • reciprocity
  • cooperation
  • replication


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