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The Choice between Greenfield Investment and Cross-border Acquisition: A Real Option Approach

  • Gilroy, Bernard Michael
  • Lukas, Elmar

The purpose of this study is to formalize the choice of market entry strategy for an individual multinational enterprise (MNE) from a dynamic perspective. It is argued that incorporating a suitable treatment of irreversibility, uncertainty and flexibility related to a MNEs investment decision gives further insights to the choice of cross-border acquisitions to greenfield investment as the preferred entry mode. In most cases, the initial entry strategy serves as a platform allowing the firm to make subsequent investments to exploit host-country advantages and capabilities.We allowfor this by taking a two-step expansion strategy explicitly into account. The evolutionary process of the value of the foreign direct investment includes two stochastic elements as well as the timing that triggers the transition from export to foreign direct investment. The results suggest that uncertainty and future investment opportunities play an important role when it comes to transit from export to the first phase of the foreign direct investment commitment as well as have an impact on the choice of entry strategy.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18819.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18819
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  1. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
  2. Buckley, Peter J & Casson, Mark, 1981. "The Optimal Timing of a Foreign Direct Investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 75-87, March.
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  4. Pennings, Enrico & Sleuwaegen, Leo, 2000. "The Choice and Timing of Foreign Market Entry under Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Gunther Friedl, 2002. "Sequential Investment And Time To Build," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 54(1), pages 56-79, January.
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  7. Weijian Shan & Jaeyong Song, 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Sourcing of Technological Advantage: Evidence from the Biotechnology Industry," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(2), pages 267-284, June.
  8. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  9. Breandan O Huallachain & Neil Reid, 1997. "Acquisition versus Greenfield Investment: The Location and Growth of Japanese Manufacturers in the United States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 403-416.
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  12. Buckley, Adrian & Tse, Kalun, 1996. "Real operating options and foreign direct investment: A synthetic approach," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 304-314, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Jan Johanson & Jan-Erik Vahlne, 1977. "The Internationalization Process of the Firm—A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 23-32, March.
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  17. repec:oup:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:4:p:635-54 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Peter J Buckley & Mark C Casson, 1998. "Analyzing Foreign Market Entry Strategies: Extending the Internalization Approach," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(3), pages 539-561, September.
  19. Görg, Holger, 1998. "Analysing Foreign Market Entry: The Choice between Greenfield Investment and Acquisitions," Economics Technical Papers 981, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  20. 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.
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  23. Sanjeev Agarwal & Sridhar N Ramaswami, 1992. "Choice of Foreign Market Entry Mode: Impact of Ownership, Location and Internationalization Factors," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(1), pages 1-27, March.
  24. repec:oup:qjecon:v:101:y:1986:i:4:p:707-27 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Gomes-Casseres, Benjamin, 1989. "Ownership structures of foreign subsidiaries : Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, January.
  26. Bruce Kogut, 1991. "Joint Ventures and the Option to Expand and Acquire," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(1), pages 19-33, January.
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