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Edited by Subhash C. Jain and David A. Griffith
Chapter 11: Subsidiary Marketing Strategy Implementation (SMSI): The Missing Link of International Marketing Strategy Research
Esra Gencturk and Destan Kandemir What to do – the marketing strategy – is clear. . . How to accomplish the strategy – the marketing implementation – is problematic. (Bonoma, 1984) INTRODUCTION Strategy implementation has long been identified as the problematic component, the ‘black box’ or the ‘missing link’ of strategy research. Despite the concept’s undisputed importance and centrality in strategy literature, most discussions of strategy are confined to its formulation, with no or only fleeting mention of implementation considerations (Freeman and Boeker, 1984; Skivington and Daft, 1991). The problem is not unique to strategy research in marketing but is equally troubling in its conspicuous paucity in the international marketing strategy literature. Reviews of the extant research reveal that strategy implementation remains an understudied aspect of the field in terms of its conceptual dimensions, empirical support and managerial implications (Birnik and Bowman, 2007). Our nominal understanding of how international marketing strategies are implemented represents a widely acknowledged major shortcoming. It has long been acknowledged that the importance of a specific international marketing strategy lies in its potential to enhance business performance (Samiee and Roth, 1992; Katsikeas et al., 2006). Yet the few studies addressing performance implications of international marketing strategy report mixed results (e.g. Cavusgil and Zou, 1994; Szymanski et al., 1993; Albaum and Tse, 2001; Shoham, 1999), making it difficult to develop theory and derive managerial prescriptions. What is more problematical is the fact that without due attention to implementation considerations, it is impossible to determine whether the resulting performance outcomes, positive or negative, stem...
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