Occasional Papers, Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University
Using an optimal matching procedure to analyze foreign expansion processes
Abstract: With the increasing interest in complex and dynamic
processes in the field of IB, the call for systematic analyses of rich
datasets is often heard. In this paper I use an an Optimal Matching (OM)
procedure (cf. Abbott, 1990; Abbott and Tsay, 2000; Sabherwal and Robey,
1993) to analyze the foreign expansion processes of firms. I argue that OM
offers a fruitful approach for the analysis of qualitative and longitudinal
data on internationalization processes. It is used to identify typical
‘sequences of events’, in the current paper: sequences of expansion steps
by internationalizing companies.
I collected data on the expansion
processes of thirteen firms entering the emerging markets in Central and
Eastern Europe through field interviews and analysis of archival sources.
Analyzing the resulting thirteen expansion processes with OM results in
three distinct ‘typical expansion processes’, which can be meaningfully
interpreted in correspondence with existing literature on growth
strategies. With these findings, this paper goes beyond testing existing
models on the internationalization of the firm, such as the Uppsala model
(Johanson and Vahlne, 1977), and answers to the call for investigations on
the differentiated expansion strategies of modern MNCs (Johanson and
Vahlne, 1990; Autio, Sapienza and Almeida, 2000; Buckley and Ghauri,
Keywords: Optimal Matching; Entry Strategy; Internationalization Process; (follow links to similar papers)
23 pages, October 24, 2005
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