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50 years of research on international standardization and adaptation--From a systematic literature analysis to a theoretical framework

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  • Schmid, Stefan
  • Kotulla, Thomas

Abstract

When going and operating abroad, firms face the challenge of finding the optimal balance between standardizing and adapting their marketing strategies across national borders in order to be successful. In this contribution, we present the major results of a systematic literature analysis in the field of international marketing standardization/adaptation. Based on our findings, we introduce a theoretical framework combined with the concept of situation-strategy fit. This framework serves as a basis for providing theoretically grounded and empirically testable recommendations regarding performance-enhancing strategies of international product standardization/adaptation in given situations. We argue that a high degree of international product standardization is likely to enhance foreign product profit, as compared to all alternative strategies, if there is (1) a high cross-national homogeneity of demand, (2) a high potential for cross-national economies of scale, (3) a high cost of product modification, (4) a high foreign price elasticity of demand, (5) a small perceptual error of the managers, and (6) a high quality of strategy execution. By presenting the state-of-the-art knowledge in the field and by introducing a novel theoretical framework, our paper has important implications for both scholars and managers in the fields of international marketing and international business.

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  • Schmid, Stefan & Kotulla, Thomas, 2011. "50 years of research on international standardization and adaptation--From a systematic literature analysis to a theoretical framework," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 491-507, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:20:y:2011:i:5:p:491-507
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    References listed on IDEAS

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