Standardization And Adaptation : How Multinational Firms Achieve Superior Business Performance Through International Marketing Strategy

Standardization And Adaptation : How Multinational Firms Achieve Superior Business Performance Through International Marketing Strategy

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Standardization or Adaptation: How Multinational Firms Achieve Superior Business Performance through International Marketing Strategy?

Introduction
Along with increasingly liberalised trade policies, economic integration, higher stability of monetary transaction and development in transportation as well as communication, international business has experienced a dramatic rise (Czinkota and Ronkainen, 2001). This rise is also accompanied with enormous challenges that generate from differences between multinational companies’ home countries and foreign markets. Therefore, international marketing strategy that aims to achieve business success in competitive overseas markets has become a focus of studies especially in terms of standardization and adaptation. Years of fierce debates generate three basic perspectives. From a standardization perspective, reasons for standardizing strategy can be growing market similarity, economies of scale, homogenized customers, technological advance and consistent corporate brand (Levitt, 1983; Theodosiou and Leonidou, 2003). By contrast, advocates of adaptation maintain that multinational companies adapt strategy to local requirements and national differences, for the purpose of better performance (Terpstra and Sarathy, 2000). Whilst the contingency perspective, which is more considerate, supports that strategy’s standardization or adaptation is determined by contextual factors of overseas markets (Quelch and Hoff, 1986; Cavusgil et al, 1993).

To discuss whether a standardized or adapted marketing strategy approach should be adopted in order to fulfill superior performance and what degree of adoption is, three articles will be analysed. These articles are chosen because they show relevant study of...


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...mplementation and necessity of discretionary adaptation. Theodosiou and Leonidou (2003) consolidate current researches and draw conclusions that can facilitate theory development. Yakhlef’s (2010) work indicates the dynamic and negotiating relationship between context and strategy and argues for an orchestration of standardization, adaptation and transformation.

These articles provide basic understanding and clear direction for further discussion of this research question. After learning different research methods from literatures, future research methods are selected according to particular market context in order to serve specific desirable results. Through sufficient research of contextual factors and linking marketing strategy to performance measurement, how multinational firms can operate successfully via international marketing strategy can be explored.




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