The attractiveness of emerging market MNCs as employers of European and American talent workers: A multicultural study

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

IT and Administrative Management

Publication Date




Upon entering developed markets, emerging market multinational corporations (EMNCs) from China and India must compete with both host companies and other developed nation MNCs to attract and recruit necessary local talent. The purpose of this paper is to examine to what extent EMNC firms will be perceived as less attractive employers than their developed nation counterparts due to a perceived liability of origin bias. Major demographic and psychographic factors that may affect this bias will also be identified.


Seven hypotheses were tested on a total of 626 German, French and American respondents. Participants were randomly presented identical job descriptions from four hypothetical MNCs (American, European, Indian and Chinese) and were asked to evaluate the perceived attractiveness of working for, as well as their intent to pursue employment with, the offering firm.


Using hierarchical linear regression testing, combined with analysis of variance testing, EMNCs were found to have significantly lower organizational attractiveness than equivalent European or American owned MNCs. Mixed results were found for the various hypotheses based on the moderator variables.

Research limitations/implications

Because the study included three distinct sub-groups, supplemental analyses controlling for possible variances between the sub-groups themselves are included. This multicultural study is one of the first to address the human perspective of EMNC outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by identifying the existence of a potential liability of origin bias toward emerging market firms manifested by potential developed market job applicants. Furthermore, this study is one of the first to examine the influence of applicant age, professional status, gender and nationality with respect to the differences in the perceived level of organizational attractiveness between emerging market and developed nation firms.


This paper extends the literature in three important research areas. First, an extension to the literature on the highly relevant topic of OFDI by Chinese and Indian firms is made. Second, traditional research in the field of organizational attractiveness is further extended by combining it with the timely subject of Chinese and Indian OFDI into developed markets. Finally, this study extends international business literature by studying the influence of demographic and psychographic moderators on the perceived level of organizational attractiveness between emerging market and developed nation firms.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Emerging Markets. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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International Journal of Emerging Markets


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