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The nature of multinational firm boundaries: Transaction costs, firm capabilities and foreign market entry mode

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  • Madhok, Anoop

Abstract

Under the rubric of internalization theory, transaction cost-based arguments have been dominant in addressing multinational firms' mode of foreign market entry decisions. Another line of argument addresses this decision by focusing more closely on firms' capabilities. This paper presents, and empirically tests, the arguments underlying the mode of foreign market entry decision from these two perspectives. Stronger support was found for the organizational capability perspective. The results suggest that it is the considerations related to the efficient and effective development and deployment of a firm's capabilities, under the constraint of bounded rationality, rather than the level of transaction costs and the efficiency of the transaction under the assumption of opportunism which is increasingly critical in determining the entry mode choice. This shifts the main focus of attention away from market failure due to high transaction costs and demands greater attention to capability-related issues. It appears that, in the quest to remain competitive in the dynamic and global economy of today, firms may oft need to trade off transaction cost-related concerns against capability-related ones in making firm boundary decisions.

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  • Madhok, Anoop, 1998. "The nature of multinational firm boundaries: Transaction costs, firm capabilities and foreign market entry mode," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 259-290, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:7:y:1998:i:3:p:259-290
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    1. Chen, Ming-Yuan & Chang, Jing-Yun, 2011. "The choice of foreign market entry mode: An analysis of the dynamic probit model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 439-450, January.
    2. Sanchez-Peinado, Esther & Pla-Barber, Jose, 2006. "A multidimensional concept of uncertainty and its influence on the entry mode choice: An empirical analysis in the service sector," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 215-232, June.
    3. George Peng & Paul Beamish, 2014. "The effect of host country long term orientation on subsidiary ownership and survival," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, pages 423-453.
    4. Cansino, José M. & Lopez-Melendo, Jaime & Pablo-Romero, María del P. & Sánchez-Braza, Antonio, 2013. "An economic evaluation of public programs for internationalization: The case of the Diagnostic program in Spain," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 38-46.
    5. Maria Ripollés & Andreu Blesa, 0. "Entry mode choices in the international new ventures context. A study from different theoretical perspectives," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-21.
    6. Li, Jing & Rugman, Alan M., 2007. "Real options and the theory of foreign direct investment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 687-712, December.
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    8. Demirbag, Mehmet & Tatoglu, Ekrem & Glaister, Keith W., 2007. "Factors influencing perceptions of performance: The case of western FDI in an emerging market," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 310-336, June.
    9. Pehrsson, Anders, 2008. "Strategy antecedents of modes of entry into foreign markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 132-140, February.
    10. Ripollés, Maria & Blesa, Andreu, 2012. "International new ventures as “small multinationals”: The importance of marketing capabilities," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 277-287.
    11. Fisch, Jan Hendrik, 2008. "Internalization and internationalization under competing real options," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 108-123, June.
    12. Klein, Klemens & Albers, Sascha & Allroggen, Florian & Malina, Robert, 2015. "Serving vs. settling: What drives the establishment of low-cost carriers’ foreign bases?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 17-30.
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    15. Cui, Lin & Jiang, Fuming, 2009. "FDI entry mode choice of Chinese firms: A strategic behavior perspective," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 434-444, October.
    16. Seyoum, Belay, 2007. "Trade liberalization and patterns of strategic adjustment in the US textiles and clothing industry," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 109-135, February.
    17. Cantwell, John & Santangelo, Grazia D., 2006. "The boundaries of firms in the new economy: M&As as a strategic tool toward corporate technological diversification," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 174-199, June.
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    20. Caglio, Ariela & Ditillo, Angelo, 2008. "A review and discussion of management control in inter-firm relationships: Achievements and future directions," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 865-898.
    21. Chen, Ming-Yuan & Chang, Jing-Yun, 2011. "The choice of foreign market entry mode: An analysis of the dynamic probit model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 439-450.
    22. Dimitratos, Pavlos & Amorós, José Ernesto & Etchebarne, María Soledad & Felzensztein, Christian, 2014. "Micro-multinational or not? International entrepreneurship, networking and learning effects," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 908-915.
    23. Oskar Villarreal Larrinaga, 2010. "The Dodecagon of Internationalisation: A Theoretical Integration Model," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1), pages 3-24.
    24. Wrona, Thomas & Trąpczyński, Piotr, 2012. "Re-explaining international entry modes – Interaction and moderating effects on entry modes of pharmaceutical companies into transition economies," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 295-315.
    25. Morschett, Dirk & Schramm-Klein, Hanna & Swoboda, Bernhard, 2010. "Decades of research on market entry modes: What do we really know about external antecedents of entry mode choice?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 60-77, March.

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