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Firm capabilities and the performance in regional polarization
Wu Jie1; Wu Zefu2
Source PublicationManagement Decision
ABS Journal Level2


The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of firm-specific capabilities on performance in regional polarization.


The study develops and tests a theoretical model relating regional economic characteristics and firm-specific capabilities to performance. Based on a survey conducted by the World Bank, data on 17,196 firms in 20 Latin American countries were constructed and analysed.


The performance impacts of a firm's operations capability, technological capability and marketing capability were all found to be strengthened by operating in the Brazil-group economies – more favorable economic environments.

Research limitations/implications

The findings confirm empirically that regional polarization has an important influence on firm performance. Moreover, these findings suggest a more nuanced understanding of the effects of firm-specific capabilities on firm performance. Some types of economies foster the effects of firm-specific capabilities and offer a favorable economic and institutional environment which can greatly stimulate firms to re-configure and develop their skills and improve their global competitiveness, leading to a better firm performance.


As Robles has noted, “Given that polarization is a recent [development], there is [a] paucity of research on how firms cope with either expansionary or depressed domestic and global market conditions. There is little evidence of effective strategies and [their] performance implications in expansionary and contracting markets in the region.” This study addresses this important gap in the literature by demonstrating that operating in a country grouped with Brazil-type economies was positively related with firm performance.

KeywordRegional Polarization Caribbean Company Performance Central America South America Firm Capabilities Operations Capability Technological Capability Marketing Capability Firm Performance Latin America
Indexed BySSCI
WOS Research AreaBusiness ; Economics
WOS SubjectBusiness ; Management
WOS IDWOS:000325664200004
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Citation statistics
Cited Times [WOS]:7   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
Corresponding AuthorWu Jie
Affiliation1.Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau, Macau, Macau
2.Finance and Accounting, College of Business Administration, Huaqiao University, Quanzhou, China
First Author AffilicationFaculty of Business Administration
Corresponding Author AffilicationFaculty of Business Administration
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Wu Jie,Wu Zefu. Firm capabilities and the performance in regional polarization[J]. Management Decision,2013,51(8):1613-1627.
APA Wu Jie,&Wu Zefu.(2013).Firm capabilities and the performance in regional polarization.Management Decision,51(8),1613-1627.
MLA Wu Jie,et al."Firm capabilities and the performance in regional polarization".Management Decision 51.8(2013):1613-1627.
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