The Dynamics of Entry Mode Choice in Challenging Business Environments: An Exploratory Study of Medium Sized Exporters' Entry into Africa

Henrik Gundelach*, Michael W. Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article studies the entry modes adopted by medium-sized enterprises (MEs) seeking market access to challenging business environments in Africa. Based on a review of the extant literature on entry mode choice and organisational learning in internationalisation, we develop a dynamic model for analysing entry mode choice of exporting MEs. Via a longitudinal study of 14 Danish MEs' attempted entry into the Kenyan market, we found that gaining better knowledge of own resources in relation to the Kenyan business environment did not make the MEs adjust their entry mode. The only behavioural adjustments in lieu of better knowledge were that several MEs, rather than changing their preferred entry mode, decided to abandon entry altogether. We ascribe this lack of adaptation of entry mode strategy to organisational inertia. In conclusion, we argue that our findings have important implications for the theory of organisational learning in internationalisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Export Marketing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)174-203
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Export
  • Internationalisation
  • Uppsala model
  • Africa
  • Entry modes
  • Challenging business environments
  • Resource-based view
  • RBV
  • Institutional perspective
  • Medium-sized enterprises
  • MEs
  • Path dependency
  • Experiential learning
  • Inertia

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