Institutional and learning effects in a newly opening economy : an analysis of foreign entry mode choices as Canadian universities and colleges go to China

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Lin, Weijian
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Management
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Management, 2005
The study applies institutional theory and organizational learning theory to the study of foreign market entry in newly opening economies. It is proposed that as these markets open they experience three main stages: Stage (I) Prescriptive, Stage (II) Partly Open / High Uncertainty and, Stage (III) Fully Open / Low Uncertainty. In stage one, foreign organizations are expected to have little choice but to conform to indigenous regulations regarding entry mode which are often very limiting. At this stage, entry mode choice will depend heavily on the coercive isomorphism of the state. Later, in stage two, regulations ease and more entry modes are made available, but little is yet known about the country and the extreme uncertainty of the environment is expected to greatly influence the entry mode decision. At this stage, entry mode choice will depend heavily on mimetic isomorphism as new entrants imitate each other for mutual support but without any real insight into the nature of successful strategies. Finally, in stage three, as potential entrants develop a degree of comfort with the new market, foreign entry choice will depend on two potentially competing influences: success stories from previous entries by other organizations into the country (vicarious learning) and success stories from their own organization’s entry into other countries (experiential learning). By looking at the internationalization process of Canadian post-secondary institutions in mainland China, the paper reconceptualizes standard entry mode choices for the education services sector while presenting a comprehensive picture of the internationalization of higher education of Canadian schools using survey data. Research findings indicate the following: In Stage (I), the hypothesis that coercive adaptation would drive entry mode choice could not be tested with the limited data available from that period. In Stage (II), results were dispersed across the various means of access without a clear indication that external mimicry was the dominant influence. In Stage (III), while the study could only say conclusively that learning effects were stronger than coercive or mimetic influences, vicarious learning appeared to be the strongest influence on the entry mode decisions made by Canadian colleges, while universities favoured experiential learning.
xi, 112 leaves ; 29 cm.
International education , Internationalism , Education, Higher , Universities and colleges