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B. Factors Influencing Both Entry Timing and Entry Mode Decisions

Based on previous research, the factors influencing the entry timing and entry mode decision are basically related internal and external attributes of the firms. One of the contributions on foreign direct investment theories has specifically addressed the early entrant advantages and posits that early entrants are influenced by their own characteristics (internal factors) and also by the environment (external factors) [9]. In addition, it is observed that internal factors are related to the firm's resource capabilities, such as the size and research and development (R&D) intensity carried out by the firm, while the external factors are related to the international market environment such as industry type, market growth, host country, and competitors [9]. In addition, the resource-based view (RBV) of firm was claimed to have influenced the theoretical perspective in international business research to certain extent [16]. Hence, this present study also adopts the RBV model to examine further the firm's resource capabilities which subsequently allow the firms to achieve sustainable competitive advantages with better performance. In the earlier study, Lieberman and Montgomery [16] explained that the firm's entry timing decision is subjected to the firm's internal factors, whether they are strong and confident enough to be the EMs or they have to wait and see to be the late movers. Hence, larger firms with strong intangible assets, having greater access to financing were found to enter the foreign market early [17]. In relation to the international environment, Huang and Sternquist [18] emphasized that the home and host country, distance between two countries, and firm's experience have influenced the retailers' entry location, entry timing, and entry mode strategic decisions. Hence, it was hypothesized that when home government policies are less favorable, the retailers favor early entry and choose entry modes that involve relatively high resource commitments and vice versa [18].

In this study, numerous factors related to the entry timing and entry mode decisions have been identified from previous research. The theories and models from these studies have been used in this present study as the conceptual framework and in the questionnaires survey to obtain opinions of the construction firms as factors influencing the entry timing and entry mode decision. In short, much research to date only focused on entry timing and entry mode in segregation. Thus, the ETEM model in this present study proposes entry timing as the main variable which influences the entry mode together with the factors influencing the proposed linkages.

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