Purpose – Emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) have consolidated their global presence recently, challenging existing international business (IB) theories. One of their most significant characteristics has been the prevalence of strategic asset-seeking (SAS) mergers and acquisitions (M&As) targeting firms in
developed countries. Such SAS M&As have been ascribed to the aim of acquiring or augmenting firm-specific advantages, rather than exploiting existing advantages. A literature review is needed to synthesize the growing number of academic studies and to contribute to ongoing theoretical developments on EMNEs’ catch-up strategies.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors follow a standard systematic literature review approach. The authors collate academic studies on EMNEs’ SAS M&As in developed markets published between 2000 and mid-2020, structuring the analysis using the logic of antecedent, process and performance outcomes.
Findings – The authors present recent research trends in terms of year, journal, theories and methods. The authors synthesize and analyze existing knowledge on EMNEs’ SAS M&As and identify remaining gaps to suggest future research directions.
Originality/value – The review contributes by focusing on the key argument of current EMNE research – SAS M&As. By providing the first focused review on this topic, it provides a basis for further research on EMNEs’ SAS M&As.