Emeritus Professor of Marketing
Contingency Theory; Archetypal Analysis; Fit-Equifinality; Integration-Responsiveness; MNC Subsidiary Performance;
Journal Article | European Journal of Marketing | 53 | February 2019
Archetypes of Marketing Mix Standardization-Adaptation in MNC Subsidiaries: Fit and Equifinality as Complementary Explanations of Performance
Purpose - This paper aims to identify the archetypes of marketing mix standardization-adaptation in MNC subsidiaries and to examine the relationships between MNC subsidiary strategy, environment and performance through the theoretical lenses of fit and equifinality.Design/methodology/approach - The authors use a mail survey to collect data from MNC subsidiary business units located in multiple countries. They apply a novel archetypal analysis method to identify the diverse archetypes of marketing mix standardization-adaptation in MNC subsidiaries. Finally, through cross-tabulation and regression analysis, the authors examine the relationships between MNC strategy, environment and performance.Findings - The authors identify four archetypes of MNC subsidiary standardization-adaptation including a new archetype that is not recognized in the literature. This analysis finds partial support for both fit and equifinality, suggesting complementarity between the two theories.Research limitations/implications - The study could be extended with longitudinal data to examine the dynamics in MNC marketing mix strategy and performance in response to the changing business environment.Practical implications - The findings suggest that MNC subsidiary managers could deploy a broader set of international marketing strategy configurations than those currently prescribed to enhance performance.Originality/value - The authors use a novel configuration-based archetypal analysis method and extend the theoretical typology of international marketing strategies pursued by MNC subsidiaries. The partial support for both fit and equifinality expands the theoretical lens through which we can examine the relationships between MNC marketing strategy, environment and performance.