This study brings a fresh approach--a learning perspective--to the literature examining whether firms expand internationally through start-ups or acquisitions. Hypotheses concern how this strategic choice is influenced by a firm's multinational diversity and product diversity. The results show that multinational diversity leads to foreign start-ups rather than acquisitions. Product diversity has a curvilinear effect on the tendency to use start-ups. The curvilinear effect becomes weaker at higher levels of multinational diversity.

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Keywords business planning, consolidation & merger of corporations, corporations (growth), diversification in industry, diversity in the workplace, foreign investment, gross national product, international business enterprises, international trade financing, multiproduct firms, organizational learning, strategic planning
Persistent URL
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Academy of Management Journal
Barkema, H.G, & Vermeulen, G.A.M. (1998). International expansion through start-up or through acquisition: An organizational learning perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 7–26. Retrieved from