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The Expansion of Foreign Direct Investments: Discrete Rational Location Choices or a Cultural Learning Process?


  • Gabriel R G Benito

    (Østfold College)

  • Geir Gripsrud

    (Norwegian School of Management)


It is recognized in the literature that experience may affect the cost and the uncertainty of operating in foreign markets, and experience and market knowledge may therefore influence the location decisions of FDIs. Economic theory does not, however, predict a general expansion pattern of FDIs across industries. On the other hand, the theory associated with the “internationalization process” approach highlights the importance of cultural distance, and predicts a movement from “close” to more “distant” markets as more experience is acquired by the firm. The internationalization process approach is rooted in a behavioral theory of the firm.In this article two hypotheses are developed from the internationalization process approach regarding the location of FDIs. The database used for testing the hypotheses includes in principle all FDIs undertaken by Norwegian manufacturing companies up to the midyear 1982. Cultural distance is measured by an index developed by Kogut and Singh [1988]. No support is found for the notion that the first FDI in general takes place in culturally closer countries than later FDIs. Furthermore, for given companies, an expansion into more distant countries is not found as the number of investments increases.© 1992 JIBS. Journal of International Business Studies (1992) 23, 461–476

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel R G Benito & Geir Gripsrud, 1992. "The Expansion of Foreign Direct Investments: Discrete Rational Location Choices or a Cultural Learning Process?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 23(3), pages 461-476, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:23:y:1992:i:3:p:461-476

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