IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Do multinationals really prefer to enter culturally distant countries through greenfields rather than through acquisitions? The role of parent experience and subsidiary autonomy

Listed author(s):
  • Arjen H L Slangen

    (Department of Business-Society Management, RSM Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Jean-François Hennart

    (Department of Organisation and Strategy, CentER, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)

Prior research has argued that multinational enterprises (MNEs) prefer to enter culturally distant countries through greenfields rather than through acquisitions, since acquisitions in such countries are costlier to manage. This argument contains two hidden assumptions: (1) the additional costs of acquisitions in culturally distant countries are the same for all MNEs; and (2) such acquisitions have no benefits over their greenfield counterparts. In this paper we relax these two assumptions by arguing that an MNE's preference for greenfields in culturally distant countries depends on its international and host-country experience, and on the level of autonomy it plans to grant the focal subsidiary. Analyzing 171 wholly owned greenfield investments and full acquisitions made by Dutch MNEs in 35 countries, we find that these MNEs prefer to enter culturally distant countries through greenfields, but that this preference is lower when they have little international experience, or plan to grant the focal subsidiary considerable autonomy in marketing. Journal of International Business Studies (2008) 39, 472–490. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400356

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Link to full text PDF
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

File URL:
File Function: Link to full text HTML
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan & Academy of International Business in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 39 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 472-490

in new window

Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:472-490
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:472-490. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.