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MNE subsidiaries versus domestic enterprises: an analysis of their ownership and location-specific advantages

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This paper compares the ownership advantages of multinational enterprises' (MNEs) subsidiaries and domestic enterprises (DMEs) in Greece. Previous studies have tested the hypothesis that ownership-specific advantages (Oa) are a major source of firm differences. This study analyses the processed food sector (SIC=20) - the leading industrial sector in Greece with the highest inward and outward internationalization degree - using a panel data set of 75 firms and 5 years. The findings of a probabilistic regression analysis indicate that there are significant differences between the two groups of firms in the degree of possession of observed ownership advantages. MNE subsidiaries have higher market shares, use multiplant operations and have higher advertising and R&D to sales ratios compared to DMEs. DMEs use their well-established position (knowledge of domestic and regional market conditions, and size economies) in order to compete effectively with MNE subsidiaries. It is inferred that pursuit of domestic market development is an important motivation in such subsidiaries, in an attempt to build on (rather than substitute for) the strong and distinctive established product base of Greek food industry companies. By assimilating Greek food knowledge alongside their own the MNEs developed export-orientation into their subsidiaries in Greece, which eventually have played a notable role in the regional market (Balkans).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Business Administration, University of Patras, Greece, Email:

Publication date: September 10, 2003

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