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Revisiting the relationship between ownership and control in international business operations: Lessons from transition economies

  • Karhunen, Päivi
  • Löfgren, Joan
  • Kosonen, Riitta
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    This article develops a conceptual model linking two interrelated dimensions of foreign business operations in transition economies: resources committed to the entry in terms of ownership, and resources committed to control the operations. The model outlines four types of foreign operations in transition economies: 1) arm's length contractor (low degree of foreign ownership and low level of foreign control over the operations); 2) hands-on contractor (low ownership and high control); 3) brand protector (high ownership and control); and 4) market share maximizer (high ownership and low control). These types are illustrated with examples of companies in four sectors of the Russian economy: metals, textiles, oil products, and beverages. We contribute to the literature on ownership and control in foreign operations, and their linkage to resource commitment at different stages of operations. In particular, we explicate situations characteristic of transition economies where ownership and control are not positively correlated. Moreover, we illustrate that the (financial) resources committed at the entry stage do not necessarily correlate with the managerial resources committed to the operations. For example, contractual collaborations in transition economies typically require few financial resources but more managerial resource commitment than in more developed market economies. On the other hand, operations with major commitment in the form of foreign equity investment may be managed autonomously by a local manager or a minority shareholder.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 78-88

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:14:y:2008:i:1:p:78-88
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