International attention and multinational enterprise performance

Cyril Bouquet, Allen Morrison, Julian Birkinshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


This study examines the performance consequences of international attention, defined as the extent to which headquarters executives in the multinational enterprise (MNE) invest time and effort in activities, communications, and discussions aimed at improving their understanding of the global marketplace. Using detailed questionnaire and archival data on 135 MNEs, our analysis revealed three significant findings. First, international attention can be operationalized as a meta-construct that consists of three interrelated and reinforcing dimensions. Second, international attention has a curvilinear (inverted U-shape) relationship with MNE performance. Third, the performance benefits of international attention increase with three categories of moderating factors: the international assignment experience of top executives, the independence of value-adding activities across country locations, and the degree of industry dynamism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-131
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 29 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention management
  • Cognition
  • Executive skills
  • International experience
  • Internationalization
  • Multinational performance

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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