Standardization versus Adaptation of International Marketing Strategy: An Empirical Investigation Academic Article uri icon


  • An issue debated frequently in the international marketing literature centers on whether a business should pursue a strategy that is standardized across national markets or adapted to individual national markets. Of the two aspects relating to standardization of marketing strategy across national markets(1) standardization of the pattern of resource allocation across marketing mix variables integral to a business's marketing strategy and (2) standardization of the strategy content with respect to individual marketing mix variablesthe latter has been the subject of numerous conceptual articles. However, there is a relative dearth of empirical studies on both issues. To partially fill this void, this study addresses empirically the question of the standardization of the pattern of resource allocation among marketing mix variables across national markets. The question is addressed by examining whether competitive strategy and industry structure variables affect market share and business profits similarly or dissimilarly across Western markets, that is, the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Western Europe. The results reveal that with few exceptions, the effects of competitive strategy and market structure variables generalize across these markets. The study findings provide insights into both the merits of standardizing the strategic resource mix across Western markets and the competitive strategy and market structure variables that are major explanators of business performance across Western markets.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Marketing

author list (cited authors)

  • Szymanski, D. M., Bharadwaj, S. G., & Varadarajan, P. R.

citation count

  • 389

complete list of authors

  • Szymanski, David M||Bharadwaj, Sundar G||Varadarajan, P Rajan

publication date

  • January 1993