Russian Multinational Firms and Their Investment Activities in Emerging Economies
: The South Caucasus

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This research explores the behaviour of Russian firms in the oil and gas, electricity, aluminium, telecommunications, insurance, financial and railway industries. Its key aim has been to analyse their investment activities in the South Caucasus emerging economies. Since the 1990s, the rise of Russian multinationals has been remarkable; they have redefined the international business landscape by continuously increasing their FDI activities as a result of political and economic changes. Individual political events have also influenced state-state, state-business and business-business relations. Thus, the study was designed to explore the main drivers of Russian firms’ investments in the South Caucasus emerging economies. This research involved fieldwork and interviews with business and political elites in Russia and the South Caucasus countries between June and September 2017. In order to explain the Russian firms and their business activities, the thesis develops an ‘interdisciplinary theory’ which is built on Dunning’s eclectic paradigm, with the incorporation of the IDP and U-model predictions, state-business and state-state relations, as well as other political factors. The findings show that there are variations in the Russian firms’ ownership advantages, between the locational advantages of the South Caucasus countries, in the Russian state’s interaction with the firms, in the influence of Russia’s relations with the South Caucasus countries on the firms and their corporate roles in these interstate relations, and in the firms’ entry strategies. The results enable a better understanding of the development of the firms’ internationalisation processes and can serve as a reference and guideline for researchers and policymakers. The study shows that the interdisciplinary theory is an analytical framework that is well-suited for exploring and analysing the various kinds of determinants of the Russian firms’ business and investment activities. This analytical framework could also be used to investigate other big emerging economy firms. The study contributes to the theoretical IB and IPE literatures.
Date of Award30 Jul 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorMagnus Feldmann (Supervisor)

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