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Chapter 8 Successful Subsidiary Strategy Patterns in Different Environments – A Configurational Perspective

Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm

ISBN: 978-1-78052-114-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-115-2

Publication date: 20 October 2011


Purpose – Taking a configurational perspective, this study explores if there are different market entry strategies used and if there are ideal configurations of subsidiary strategy in different types of foreign countries.

Methodology – The study is based on a sample of 238 subsidiaries of German companies that are located in 38 different countries. Capturing many different facets of the subsidiary strategy, the configuration of top performers in different environments is identified. With a ‘fit as profile deviation’ approach, it is investigated whether the strategy of the top performers indeed constitutes an ideal strategy.

Findings – The host countries of the subsidiaries can be clustered in four types: BRICs, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the USA. Chosen market entry modes differ significantly between those four host country types. The top performing subsidiaries in each of the country types have distinct strategy patterns. However, deviation from the strategy profile of the top performers only explains the lower performance of subsidiaries in country types BRICs and Eastern Europe. Performance differences between subsidiaries in Western Europe and the USA cannot be explained with the variables captured in this study.

Research limitations/implications – Taking a configurational approach on subsidiary strategy proves to be a promising path to create new insights. But subsidiary strategy pattern alone is insufficient to explain performance in two country types. Thus, other influence factors must be investigated. Furthermore, the study did explore subsidiary strategy patterns with a cluster analysis, without ex ante hypotheses about the patterns. Hence, further studies are needed to re-investigate these patterns.



Morschett, D. and Schramm-Klein, H. (2011), "Chapter 8 Successful Subsidiary Strategy Patterns in Different Environments – A Configurational Perspective", Verbeke, A., Tavares-Lehmann, A.T. and Van Tulder, R. (Ed.) Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 167-197.



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