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Once bitten, not necessarily shy? Determinants of foreign market re-entry commitment strategies

  • Irina Surdu
  • Kamel Mellahi
  • Keith W Glaister
Article

Abstract

We investigate foreign market re-entry commitment strategies, namely the changes in the modes of operation (commitment) undertaken by multinational enterprises (MNEs) as they return to foreign markets from which they had previously exited. We combine organisational learning theory with the institutional change literature to examine the antecedents of re-entry commitment strategies. From an analysis of 1020 re-entry events between 1980 and 2016, we find that operation mode prior to exit is a strong predictor of subsequent re-entry mode. Contrary to the predictions of learning theory, we did not find support for the effect of experience accumulated during the initial market endeavour on the re-entry commitment strategies of MNEs. In turn, exit motives significantly impact on the re-entrants’ decision to re-enter via a different mode of operation, by either increasing or decreasing their commitment to the market. We show that re-entrants do not replicate unsuccessful operation mode strategies if they had previously underperformed in the market. When favourable host institutional changes occur during the time-out period, re-entrants tend to increase commitment in the host market irrespective of the degree of prior experience accumulated in the market.

Keywords

foreign market exit and re-entry organisational learning institutional change commitment increase commitment decrease operation modes 

Résumé

Nous étudions les stratégies de réentrée sur les marchés étrangers, c’est-à-dire les changements dans les modes opératoires (engagements) des entreprises multinationales (EMN) qui retournent sur les marchés étrangers dont elles s’étaient auparavant retirées. Nous combinons la théorie de l’apprentissage organisationnel avec la littérature sur le changement institutionnel pour étudier les antécédents des stratégies d’engagement de réentrée. À partir d’une analyse de 1020 événements de réentrée entre 1980 et 2016, nous constatons que le mode opératoire avant la sortie est un bon indicateur du mode de réentrée subséquent. Contrairement aux prédictions de la théorie de l’apprentissage, nous n’avons pas trouvé de confirmation relative à l’effet d’expérience accumulée pendant l’expérience initiale du marché sur les stratégies d’engagement de réentrée des EMN. En retour, les motifs de sortie ont un impact significatif sur la décision des réentrants de revenir par un mode opératoire différent, en augmentant ou en diminuant leur engagement sur le marché. Nous montrons que les réentrants ne reproduisent pas les stratégies du mode opératoire infructueuses s’ils avaient auparavant sous-performé sur le marché. Lorsque des changements institutionnels d’accueil favorable se produisent au cours de la période de retrait, les réentrants ont tendance à accroître leur engagement sur le marché d’accueil, quel que soit le degré d’expérience antérieure accumulé sur le marché.

Resumen

Investigamos las estrategias de compromiso de reingreso al mercado internacional, es decir los cambios en los modos de operación (compromiso) llevados a cabo por las empresas multinacionales cuando estas regresan a los mercados extranjeros de los cuales habían salido previamente. Combinamos la teoría de aprendizaje organizacional con la literatura de cambio institucional para examinar los antecedentes de las estrategias de compromisos de reingreso. De un análisis de 1.020 eventos de re-ingreso entre 1980 y 2016, encontramos que el modo de entrada de operación antes de la salida es un predictor fuerte del modo de reingreso posterior. Contrariamente a las predicciones de teoría de aprendizaje, no encontramos apoyo para el efecto de experiencia acumulada durante el intento inicial en el mercado en las estrategias de compromiso de re-ingreso de las multinacionales. A su vez, los motivos de salida impactan significativamente la decisión de reingresos a través de un modo diferente de operación, ya sea aumentando o disminuyendo su compromiso al mercado. Mostramos que los re-ingresos no replican las estrategias de operación no exitosas si ellas previamente han tenido un bajo rendimiento en el mercado. Cuando ocurren cambios institucionales favorables en el país anfitrión durante el periodo donde estuvieron afuera, los re-ingresos tienen a aumentar el compromiso al mercado anfitrión independientemente del grado de experiencia previa acumulada en el mercado.

Resumo

Investigamos as estratégias de comprometimento na reentrada no mercado externo, ou seja, as mudanças nos modos de operação (comprometimento) assumidos pelas empresas multinacionais (MNEs) quando retornam aos mercados estrangeiros de onde haviam previamente saído. Combinamos teoria de aprendizagem organizacional com a literatura de mudança institucional para examinar os antecedentes das estratégias de comprometimento na reentrada. A partir de uma análise de 1.020 eventos de reentrada entre 1980 e 2016, descobrimos que o modo de operação antes da saída é um forte preditor do modo subsequente de reentrada. Ao contrário das previsões da teoria da aprendizagem, não encontramos apoio para o efeito da experiência acumulada durante a empreitada inicial no mercado nas estratégias de comprometimento de reentrada das MNEs. Por sua vez, os motivos de saída afetam significativamente a decisão dos reentrantes de entrar novamente por meio de um modo diferente de operação, tanto aumentando quanto diminuindo seu comprometimento com o mercado. Mostramos que os reentrantes não replicam estratégias de operação malsucedidas se antes tinham inferior desempenho no mercado. Quando mudanças institucionais favoráveis no país de destino ocorrem durante o período de saída, os reentrantes tendem a aumentar o comprometimento no país de destino, independentemente do grau de experiência anterior acumulado no mercado.

摘要

我们调查外国市场再入承诺战略,即跨国企业(MNEs)返回从前退出的国外市场时所采取的运营模式(承诺)的变化。我们将组织学习理论与制度变化文献结合起来, 研究再入承诺战略的前因。从对1980年到2016年的1020次再入事件的分析中, 我们发现退出前的运营模式是后续再入模式的有力预测因子。与学习理论的预测相反, 我们没有发现对在最初的市场努力中积累的经验对跨国企业再入承诺战略的影响的支持。反过来, 退出动机显著影响再入者通过增加或减少他们对市场的承诺以不同运营模式重新进入的决定。我们表明, 如果他们以前在市场上表现不佳, 那么再入者不会复制不成功的运营模式战略。当东道国制度在暂停期发生有利变化时, 无论市场积累的先前经验的程度如何, 再入者往往会增加对东道国市场的承诺。

Notes

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© Academy of International Business 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Henley Business SchoolUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.Warwick Business SchoolUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  3. 3.Leeds University Business SchoolUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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