The entry mode choices of multinational corporations in turbulent markets : the case of Ukraine
Entry strategies for the turbulent markets of Eastern and Central Europe are high on the strategic agenda of firms, who wish to capitalise upon the opportunities, which they represent, whilst minimising the risks. The rapidity and discontinuity of the change in these countries calls into question the validity of rational planning approaches to assessing market attractiveness. It also calls for re-examination of a number of the theories proposed for determining mode of entry. These are often predicated upon data gathered in stable market environments. Literature relevant to the study of international entry strategies can be found in the fields of marketing, corporate strategy, international business, economics and organisational behaviour. This thesis takes the view that it is important not to prejudge which, if any, of the existing theories are relevant to study of entry into Eastern Europe. Therefore, it takes an inductive, interdisciplinary approach to studying the entry decisions of fifteen multinational corporations in Ukraine. In-depth analysis of case studies in business-to-business service, mass-market and high-margin consumer goods and industrial product sectors is used to gain an understanding of these decisions. Data are explored within and between cases, to identify patterns of similarity and difference. Firms are analysed according to demographic, location-specific and strategic variables derived from a review of literature. From this analysis, four groups of investment behaviour can be identified on the dimensions of criteria for entry, acceptance of risk and level of commitment to Ukraine. Both competitive and co-operative entry strategies are found. During the period of data collection, five additional decisions were made. Both positive decisions, to expand in Ukraine, and negative decisions not to expand or to withdraw were seen. Data were analysed to identify the explanatory variables for these differing fortunes. The findings are then set against their theoretical context to draw conclusions.