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The Influence of Firm's Size and International Experience on the Ownership Structure of Italian FDI in Manufacturing


  • Mutinelli, Marco
  • Piscitello, Lucia


The literature on foreign direct investment (FDI) has analysed the entry mode choice by multinational enterprises (MNEs) from several theoretical viewpoints. Nevertheless, previous studies have mainly focused on the behaviour of large and established MNEs while little attention has been given to small- and medium-sized firms. The paper aims at providing further empirical evidence on the role of firm size and international experience in influencing the ownership structure of FDI. The main hypothesis is that smaller firms, characterised by financial and managerial constraints, as well as firms lacking experience in managing foreign operations, suffer from a condition of adverse asymmetry in information costs, compared to their competitors. Therefore, they are forced to act prudently, minimising risk and thus preferring a less control arrangement of foreign subsidiaries. A binomial logistic model is developed with reference to manufacturing foreign direct investments undertaken by Italian firms in the period 1986-93. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Mutinelli, Marco & Piscitello, Lucia, 1998. "The Influence of Firm's Size and International Experience on the Ownership Structure of Italian FDI in Manufacturing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 43-56, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:11:y:1998:i:1:p:43-56

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    Cited by:

    1. Montserrat Álvarez, 2003. "Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries Versus Joint Ventures: The Determinant Factors in the Catalan Multinational Manufacturing Case," Working Papers 2003/5, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Dorji, Lham, 2018. "Women-owned micro and small enterprises in Bhutan : what major obstacles impede their growth and innovation?," IDE Discussion Papers 719, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    3. Sara Urionabarrenetxea, 2010. "Decisive factors in company financial internationalization: an empirical study," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 22-43, February.
    4. Valeria Gattai, 2010. "Firm's intangible assets and multinational activity: Full versus shared ownership," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 553-589.
    5. Marlene Grande & Aurora A. C. Teixeira, 2011. "Linking entry mode choices of MNCs with countries’ corruption. A review," OBEGEF Working Papers 008, OBEGEF - Observatório de Economia e Gestão de Fraude;OBEGEF Working Papers on Fraud and Corruption.
    6. Charlie Joyez, 2019. "Shared Ownership in the International Make or Buy Dilemma," GREDEG Working Papers 2019-04, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    7. Quanlin Gu & Shaoan Huang & Yupeng Shi, 2015. "Legal Traditions and Foreign Ownership Modes: Evidence from China," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 365-384, December.
    8. Omtzigt Pieter, 2002. "Money Demand in the Netherlands," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf0214, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
    9. Bontempi, Maria Elena & Prodi, Giorgio, 2009. "Entry strategies into China: The choice between Joint Ventures and Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises: An application to the Italian manufacturing sector," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 11-19, January.
    10. Heinz Hollenstein, 2001. "Patterns and Determinants of International Activities: Are SMEs Different?," WIFO Working Papers 155, WIFO.
    11. Charlie Joyez, 2018. "Interaction between firm-level and host-country characteristics and multinationals' integration choices," Working Papers DT/2018/03, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).

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