The Role of Networks and Matching in Market Entry to Emerging Retail Markets
International Marketing Review Vol. 25 No. 6, 2008 pp. 674-699
Posted: 1 Oct 2016
Date Written: 2008
Purpose: The purpose is to investigate how a retailer identifies critical network actors and gains their support when entering an emerging market. and to examine the role of a firm’s relationships with different types of actors on the new market.
Design/methodology/approach: The study is of an exploratory nature, and based on an inductive and qualitative research method. A case study of IKEA’s entry into Russia and China was conducted.
Findings: It is argued that IKEA’s entry into China and Russia was successful because of its dynamic utilization of matching and networking capabilities. The study explains how the support of relationships with, for example, political actors, interest groups and media supported the entry and the development of a positive consumer image.
Research limitations/implications: This is a qualitative, in depth study and future research is needed in order to test the generalizability of the proposed framework and models.
Practical implications: The paper shows how retail managers can generate the support of different types of actors and relationships when entering new markets.
Originality/value: Traditionally consumer product firms’ entry to new markets is regarded as a function of dealing with environmental, cultural and legal differences, and adapting products and strategies accordingly. This paper extends understanding by showing that matching and networking capabilities to mobilize resources, actors and activities on global, macro and micro levels are also critical components. It also relates the firm’s business relationships with relationships to socio-political actors on the new market.
Keywords: Retailing, Market entry, International marketing, Emerging markets
JEL Classification: L81, M31, F23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation