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The Relationship between Standardization/Adaptation and Performance: An Empirical Study on E-commerce Firms
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The pace of globalization has increased over the last decades due to liberalization of trade policies, ease and stability of monetary systems as well as advances in transportation and information technology. Among those who have capitalized on these advances, e-commerce firms can be found. This is a branch that has had consistent growth in recent years and has reaped the fruits of globalization by exporting to foreign markets due to the inherent flexibility in the e-commerce business model. With export, issues arise concerning international marketing strategy, which has to be addressed.

An ongoing 50 year debate has been in focus in the field of international marketing strategy standardization and adaptation. For the longest time, advocates of standardization and adaptation argued for the benefits of the respective approaches. However, since the beginning of the 90’s a third perspective has emerged, called the contingency perspective, which suggests that there is no universal optimum in the strategy choice. Instead, different factors in the environment, both internal and external, form a co-alignment with a certain degree of standardization/adaptation, which is ultimately decided by the performance outcome of the fit.

In this thesis, a gap in the literature was found concerning the relationship between degree of standardization/adaptation and export performance, no studies could be identified that investigated this relationship for e-commerce firms. This implicated issues concerning the measurement of international marketing strategy due to the specific nature of e-commerce firms. Consequently, an alternative measurement model was developed, based on Constantinides (2002) 4S’ Web-Marketing Mix model and a quantitative study was carried out with the help of a questionnaire, that yielded 117 responses from Swedish e-commerce firms exporting to foreign markets.

The result of the study unveiled a negative relationship between adaptation of international marketing strategy and export performance for e-commerce firms concerning adaptation of strategic and operational goals, synergy with third parties and technological systems, whereas adaptation of the web experience showed a positive relationship, giving managers a base to decide how to allocate resources in a way that enhances performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
International marketing strategy, standardization, adaptation, export performance contingency perspective, e-commerce
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26184OAI: diva2:626475
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
Marketing, Master Programme, 60 credits
Available from: 2013-06-12 Created: 2013-06-09 Last updated: 2013-06-12Bibliographically approved

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Göransson & Sahlquist (2013)(1147 kB)750 downloads
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