IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Do Multinationals Really Prefer to Enter Culturally-Distant Countries Through Greenfields Rather than Through Acquisitions? The Role of Parent Experience and Subsidiary Autonomy

  • Slangen, A.H.L.
Registered author(s):

    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 overtheir 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 whollyowned 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.

    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:
    Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Can't connect to If this is indeed the case, please notify (RePub)

    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam in its series ERIM Report Series Research in Management with number ERS-2007-060-ORG.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 11 Sep 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:10538
    Contact details of provider: Postal: RSM Erasmus University & Erasmus School of Economics, PoBox 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam
    Phone: 31-10-408 1182
    Fax: 31-10-408 9020
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Brent D Wilson, 1980. "The Propensity of Multinational Companies to Expand Through Acquisitions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(1), pages 59-64, March.
    2. Yaakov Weber & Oded Shenkar & Adi Raveh, 1996. "National and Corporate Cultural Fit in Mergers/Acquisitions: An Exploratory Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1215-1227, August.
    3. Prasad Padmanabhan & Kang Rae Cho, 1999. "Decision Specific Experience in Foreign Ownership and Establishment Strategies: Evidence from Japanese Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(1), pages 25-41, March.
    4. Andersson, Thomas & Svensson, Roger, 1994. " Entry Modes for Direct Investment Determined by the Composition of Firm-Specific Skills," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 551-60.
    5. Zejan, Mario C, 1990. "New Ventures of Acquisitions. The Choice of Swedish Multinational Enterprises," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 349-55, March.
    6. Anne-Wil Harzing, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis and Extension of the Bartlett and Ghoshal Typology of Multinational Companies," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(1), pages 101-120, March.
    7. Henisz, Witold J, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Multinational Investment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 334-64, October.
    8. Alan M Rugman & Alain Verbeke, 1992. "A Note on the Transnational Solution and the Transaction Cost Theory of Multinational Strategic Management," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(4), pages 761-771, December.
    9. Piero Morosini & Scott Shane & Harbir Singh, 1998. "National Cultural Distance and Cross-Border Acquisition Performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(1), pages 137-158, March.
    10. Oded Shenkar, 2001. "Cultural Distance Revisited: Towards a More Rigorous Conceptualization and Measurement of Cultural Differences," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(3), pages 519-535, September.
    11. Jean-François Hennart & Young-Ryeol Park, 1993. "Greenfield vs. Acquisition: The Strategy of Japanese Investors in the United States," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(9), pages 1054-1070, September.
    12. Larimo, Jorma, 2003. "Form of investment by Nordic firms in world markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(10), pages 791-803, October.
    13. W Chan Kim & Peter Hwang, 1992. "Global Strategy and Multinationals' Entry Mode Choice," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(1), pages 29-53, March.
    14. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
    15. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
    16. Shimizu, Katsuhiko & Hitt, Michael A. & Vaidyanath, Deepa & Pisano, Vincenzo, 2004. "Theoretical foundations of cross-border mergers and acquisitions: A review of current research and recommendations for the future," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 307-353.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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:ems:eureri:10538. 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: (RePub)

    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.