Planned marketing adaptation and multinationals' choices between acquisitions and greenfields

Arjen Slangen, D Dikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


International marketing studies have extensively examined the antecedents of firms' marketing standardization/adaptation decisions. However, it is unclear whether such decisions, once planned, codetermine the choice between buying and building foreign subsidiaries. Analyzing a sample of 150 foreign entries by Dutch firms, the authors find that the level of marketing adaptation planned for a wholly owned subsidiary is positively related to the likelihood that the subsidiary will be established through an acquisition rather than through a greenfield investment. Moreover, the authors find substantial evidence that this positive relationship is stronger for firms that (1) are establishing relatively larger subsidiaries, (2) have less experience with the industry entered, or (3) are entering less developed countries. The findings show that firms pursuing higher levels of marketing adaptation assign more value to the marketing adaptation advantages of acquisitions over greenfields, especially if the risks associated with implementing the planned adaptation level are high. In addition, firms typically strive for a fit between their international marketing strategy and their mode of foreign establishment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-88
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of International Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • RSM S&E


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