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Acquisitions and Real Options: The Greenfield Alternative

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  • Keith D. Brouthers
  • Desislava Dikova

Abstract

Although acquisitions are a popular way to enter new markets, empirical evidence tends to indicate few benefits accrue to acquiring firms. This might be the case because firms use acquisitions when they should be employing an alternative mode of expansion. Applying real options theory to this issue, we suggest that greenfield start-up ventures provide a real option alternative to acquisitions for firms establishing new international subsidiary units. To test this notion we examine a sample of Western European firms entering the emerging economies of Eastern Europe. The evidence suggests that acquisitions are a good choice only when firms enter markets containing low demand uncertainty and when these firms possess acquisition-based strategic flexibility. Overall, our analysis indicates that greenfield ventures appear to provide firms with a real option when making the acquisition decision. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith D. Brouthers & Desislava Dikova, 2010. "Acquisitions and Real Options: The Greenfield Alternative," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(6), pages 1048-1071, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:6:p:1048-1071
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dailami, Mansoor & Kurlat, Sergio & Lim, Jamus Jerome, 2012. "Bilateral M&A activity from the Global South," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 345-364.
    2. Andrea Boellis & Sergio Mariotti & Alessandro Minichilli & Lucia Piscitello, 2016. "Family involvement and firms’ establishment mode choice in foreign markets," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(8), pages 929-950, October.
    3. Cui, Lin & Meyer, Klaus E. & Hu, Helen Wei, 2014. "What drives firms’ intent to seek strategic assets by foreign direct investment? A study of emerging economy firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 488-501.
    4. repec:bla:jomstd:v:54:y:2017:i:3:p:304-339 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Arslan, Ahmad & Tarba, Shlomo Y. & Larimo, Jorma, 2015. "FDI entry strategies and the impacts of economic freedom distance: Evidence from Nordic FDIs in transitional periphery of CIS and SEE," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 997-1008.
    6. Lahiri, Somnath & Elango, B. & Kundu, Sumit K., 2014. "Cross-border acquisition in services: Comparing ownership choice of developed and emerging economy MNEs in India," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 409-420.
    7. repec:spr:manint:v:53:y:2013:i:4:d:10.1007_s11575-012-0157-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Reddy, Kotapati Srinivasa, 2015. "Determinants of Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions: A Comprehensive Review and Future Direction," MPRA Paper 63969, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    9. Desislava Dikova & Keith Brouthers, 2016. "International Establishment Mode Choice: Past, Present and Future," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 56(4), pages 489-530, August.
    10. Lebedev, Sergey & Peng, Mike W. & Xie, En & Stevens, Charles E., 2015. "Mergers and acquisitions in and out of emerging economies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 651-662.

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