Internationalization Motivations and Foreign Market Entry Modes

Manuel Aníbal Silva Portugal Vasconcelos Ferreira, Fernando Ribeiro Serra, Nuno Rosa Reis


The motivations for the internationalization of firms influence the selection of foreign entry modes. In this article we use John Dunning’s (1993) classification, which distinguishes four primary motives to invest overseas – market seeking, resource seeking, strategic asset seeking and efficiency seeking –, conceptually discussing the impact of the selected foreign entry modes. The methods and strategies of multinational corporations (MNCs) are chosen in a broader framework, where internationalization motivations converge with the exploitation, or exploration, of firm-specific advantages. Our analysis is supported by a set of theoretical propositions. The results demonstrate that MNCs must develop the best possible combination of strategy-structure for their international operations, and yet conceive a casuistic analysis of each individual operation. We have therefore contributed to a better understanding of the selection of foreign market entry modes as a reflection of strategic choices or motivations.


Internationalization Motivations; Strategic Asset Seeking; Market Seeking; Foreign Market Entry Modes; Market Selection.


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