The intensification of markets globalisation and the diffusion of internationalisation strategies across various businesses, led the academic literature to challenge the notion of entry modes in international ventures. Nevertheless, with specific regard to soft-service industries, only a few authors investigated the entry-mode behaviour of firms for testing the applicability of traditional theories. Therefore, this paper investigates the antecedents of firms’ entry choice on a quantitative basis, focusing on the wholly owned subsidiary/joint venture dilemma. The empirical analysis is conducted on 416 overseas market entries in the container port industry. The manuscript proposes and tests an eclectic model for evaluating the determinants of foreign entry in soft-service industries, including internal, external and cross-cultural factors.
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