Organizational Learning in Foreign Markets: Feeling Its Way in an Unfamiliar Environment

Publikation: Working paperForskning

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This empirical study addresses the question of how foreign market unfamiliarity of entrant firms develops post-entry. Three different predictions of post-entry change of foreign market unfamiliarity are derived from the literature on firms’ internationalization process. The predictions are made subject to empirical examination using a set of primary data of current (i.e. at the point in time of mail interviews) foreign operation business operations reported by managers of Danish international firms. The empirical study gives insight to the incidence and character of the so-called ‘shock effect’ in relation to foreign market entry: the phenomenon of entrant firms’ inclination to underestimate differences between the home and host country in terms of the business environment. The data support the supposition that entrant firms in general are exposed to a ‘shock effect’. On average, the foreign market unfamiliarity as perceived by the entrant firms peaks seven years after entry. The company data indicate that entrant firms in general experience the shock effect in relation to entry of adjacent, rather than distant, countries. Hence, the ‘psychic distance paradox’ hypothesis is supported. Also, the data suggest that the shock effect befalls producers of customized products, but not producers of standardized products, and furthermore, entrant firms in general experience the shock effect in relation to acquisition of tacit rather than explicit knowledge.
UdgiverThe Link Program
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - 2002
NavnLINK Working Paper