Dynamic Market Entry and the Value of Flexibility in Transitional International Joint Ventures
Faculty of Economics and Management
Review of Financial Economics, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2007
The purpose of this study is to formalize the optimal 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 an MNE's investment decision gives further insights into the expansion, dissolvement, and optimal timing of international joint ventures (IJVs). 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 allow for this by taking a three-step expansion strategy explicitly into account. The evolutionary process of the value of the foreign direct investment can be interpreted as a compound complex chooser option. The results suggest that uncertainty, size of equity share and future investment/divestment opportunities play an important role when it comes to transit from export to the first phase of the foreign direct investment commitment. The paper underscores the importance of modeling the dynamics of market entry and helps to refine the application of real options in the alliance context by providing a closed-form solution in continuous time to value the overall strategic flexibility.
Keywords: foreign direct investment, multinational enterprise, sequential investments, entry mode, international joint venture
JEL Classification: D43, F23, L13, P31Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 11, 2007
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