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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Strategic choices of firms in expanding overseas business

A case study of Pfizer’s production scope evolution in China (1993–2002)
Frontiers of Business Research in ChinaSelected Publications from Chinese Universities2:5


    Based on a case study of Pfizer’s production scope evolution in China from 1993 to 2002, we propose that MNCs usually have to face dual pressures of keeping integration among global businesses on the one hand, and remaining responsive to local market conditions on the other. When there is large discrepancy between the two, due to the bounded rationality of the decision-makers, the development paths of the subsidiaries are likely to exhibit recursive pattern, instead of the sequential mode as suggested in the extant literature. On the other hand, we argue that companies can make strategic choices to facilitate the development of their overseas subsidiaries. By the adjustment of the strategic parameters pertaining to the content and processes of their development paths, companies can accumulate knowledge about the local market and strike a balance between the dual pressures they have to face. The implication of our study for the indigenous Chinese companies in their international expansion is that when facing unfamiliar business environment in overseas market, paying attention to the idiosyncratic local market condition and keeping strategic flexibility are pivotal to their success.


    • multinational corporations(MNCs)
    • international expansion
    • subsidiary development
    • strategic choices