The role of outward FDI in creating Korean global factories

Peter J. Buckley, Nigel Driffield, Jae Yeon Kim

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This study examines Korean foreign direct investment (FDI) in the context of the
organization and development of local firms into global factories. Specifically, we
explore the relationship between FDI decisions and the nature of Korea’s imported
and exported goods. We argue that the global factory approach explains the mechanisms by which FDI can lead to technological upgrading. We employ a unique data‐set that incorporates information on FDI motive from South Korea, as well as the unit value of traded goods within sectors. Our findings indicate that FDI location and motive vary by trade destinations and trade unit prices; something that has not received attention in existing literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement International Review
Early online date6 Apr 2022
Publication statusEarly online - 6 Apr 2022


  • South Korea
  • Internationalization strategies
  • Global value chains (GVCs)
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) motivaton
  • Location choice
  • Global factories
  • Korean multinational firms


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