Tales of the unexpected: issues in overseas market entry

Foster, M J (2009) Tales of the unexpected: issues in overseas market entry. ASOR Bulletin, 28(4), pp. 2-13. ISSN (print) 0812-860X


The paper considers several examples of overseas market entry projects/deals, drawn from a range of different organisations, which went wrong to some degree. Explanations are offered as to why the projects, sited in three different countries, failed; and in discussing the examples suggestions are made of (accessible) models which can both help to explain the 'whys', and might also have helped the players to avoid or foresee, to some extent, the issues which arose. A key conclusion to emerge from the discussion is that 'soft', evaluative models may be as important as, or even more important than, the hard, mainly financial models on which many organisations routinely focus their attention, when considering foreign entry projects. The use of these sorts of models can and should be seen as O.R. modelling at work to aid strategic planning and hence decision making. The importance of understanding the cultural, as well as the market, setting in which one makes an investment is highlighted.

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