Formation of market entry strategy with an interest in decision-making : A case study in a B2B context
Abstract: Today’s business environment is growing at an increasing pace, pushing firms to internationalize. Foreign market entry has thereafter been a well-researched field by scholars. International market selection and entry mode choice are key strategic decisions a company must deal with when entering a foreign market and members of management team are entrusted with the responsibility of these complex decisions that will set the direction for the company. There have been many studies showing that internationalization is a sequential and gradual process leading companies to spread their activities to more markets that are geographically and culturally distant. These processes are involving riskier and more committed modes of entry. However, research concerning strategic decision making has shown that decisions made by management were not always rational and are influenced by external and internal factors which in turn influence the choices managers make. Market entry strategy fits into a broader theoretical subject which is the one of “strategy” and decisions. Following the principle that realized strategies are the result of planned and unplanned decisions, this research investigates how strategy related to foreign market entry emerge in a multinational company, with a specific interest in the decision-making process. A case study was conducted at a multinational company in a B2B context and the research is based on a qualitative approach, with empirical data collected from 10 in-depth interviews. After the empirical data was analysed it was concluded that strategy is not to be seen as a linear and sequential process nor as a set of objectives set in time. Foreign market entry strategy is the result of decisions involving market selection, entry mode choice, and product portfolio, and is subject to adjustments since it is affected by its internal and external environments.
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