Hongying Foscht, Cesar M. Maloles, III*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


It is practically axiomatic in international management to use market attractiveness factors (i.e., demographic characteristics, geographic characteristics, economic factors, political and legal factors, and socio-economic circumstances) in terms of in determining market potential and success, and consequently, effective market selection.
Another crucial variable that has been identified as a predictor of success is cultural distance. The premise of this factor is that the more similar a market is to a home market in terms of culture, the better the chances for success. However, cultural congruence is not necessarily a guarantee for success as many firms have chosen diverse markets and have done well.
In market selection research, many of the various models (e.g., Uppsala, waterfall, funnel, etc.) that have been posited tend to have these two success factors featured prominently. However, most if not all are analyzed at the firm-level. As a result, there seems to be an inherent bias against smaller firms or individuals who may not have the heft to conduct more extensive market selection research. Of particular neglect by international business research is the entrepreneur. Few articles provide entrepreneurs with specific guidance on the small-scale market selection process.
Entrepreneurs require a different approach than bigger firms because of their relative size and resources. Another difference is that entrepreneurs are more agile since they are less bureaucratic. Often, they use personal assessments rather than engage in in-depth market research.
SchlaegeL, et al (2021) in a Journal of International Entrepreneurship article posited that an entrepreneur’s personal factors impact the outcomes of the entrepreneurial process in different countries. This suggests that the context of the culture of an entrepreneur’s homeland will influence his/her decisions.
This study looks at the overlap between internal business research and entrepreneurial research with a focus on early stages of internationalization. In lieu of cultural distance, the authors substituted market distance as a more apt descriptor of the dynamics of market selection for entrepreneurs. Cultural distance tends to be collective while market distance is individualistic.
This paper proposes a new framework that is based on two dimensions, one is the personal, psychological market distance and other one is market attractiveness. In this framework, the authors accept the conclusions about market attractiveness based on the abundant literature on this topic. The main difference between this framework and others will be the focus on the entrepreneur and his personal assessment of the market distance in the context of his/her native culture.
This framework has been developed to help entrepreneurs structure their strategic planning specifically, for their market selection, and to avoid or reduce risks and uncertainties systematically.
A qualitative study was carried out. Entrepreneurs of three distinct cultural backgrounds were interviewed using a structured interview guide about their personal assessment of the market feasibility of a medical diagnostic device in 8 country-markets. The expectation is that each of the entrepreneurs, using their personal knowledge, beliefs, and country familiarity, would rate their homeland as the easiest market to penetrate and the farthest culturally, the most difficult to penetrate. Interestingly, those country-markets in between these endpoints were less predictable. The comparative results are presented in a series of tables and perceptual maps.
The proposed framework is helpful in manifold ways. It can fine tune the market selection strategy. By visualizing the status quo as well as the potential for future action. It can also reduce the perceived psychological distance (i.e., market distance) among each country-market. Other strategic implications for international entrepreneurs are discussed.
Keywords: market selection, entrepreneur, market distance, international entrepreneurship
Author Profiles:
Dr. Hongying Foscht earned her PhD at the Graz University of Technology in 1994. After many years in different leadership positions in industry in the realm of international business, as well as being an entrepreneur, she is currently a full professor of international management and business (including entrepreneurship) at the Graz University of Technology.
Dr. Cesar M. Maloles, III received his doctorate in marketing in 1997 from the City University of New York. He is currently a professor of marketing at California State University, East Bay.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2022
EventInternational Academy of Business and Economics 2022 New York: Institute of Technologies - New York, New York, United States
Duration: 21 Oct 202223 Oct 2022


ConferenceInternational Academy of Business and Economics 2022 New York
Abbreviated titleIABE-2022 New York
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address

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