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Gabriele Suder (SKEMA Business School); Matthias Poguntke (German Graduate School of Management and Law (GGS))
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21 pages
Data source:
Field research


The German engineering company Schunk GmbH & Co KG has been operating internationally ever since the early ''eighties. However it had taken them more than 35 years before they first crossed their home market''s borders. Today Schunk exports to 50 nations, owns 22 sales offices abroad, and produces/engineers on three continents. Most of its investments primarily target markets and locations within the European Union. In the context of the global economic crisis, hyper- internationalization activity in the sector and the increasingly wide and vast integration of the European market, Heinz-Dieter Schunk, the founder''s son and CEO of the holding, was to decide upon further international strategy in his role as Senior General Manager (He now manages the company together with his daughter Kristina Schunk and his son Henrik Schunk). He thought back to the company''s evolution across borders, and asked his team to help him audit and evaluate the benefits and challenges of the EU market grouping effects on the firm. Founded in 1945, Schunk employs around 1,700 people, and accounts for generated sales topping 200 million euros in 2008. The company manufactures products for industrial handling- and automation and prides itself for being the leading expert in automation due to its award-winning technological engineering. As a medium-sized engineering company by size and scope, it could well be considered as part of the typical backbone industries of the German economy. This case study focuses on corporate Europeanisation strategy and analysis, and supports the teaching and discussion of market entry, market grouping and economic integration effects for firms doing business in Europe. Accompanied by a teaching note and podcast for instructors.


International business; International strategy; Europeanisation; Market entry
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