1997 enabling them to gain support for later launch in other markets Also early

1997 enabling them to gain support for later launch

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, 1997), enabling them to gain support for later launch in other markets. Also, early take-off in lead markets will help fund sequential launches in these latter. Tellis et al. (2003) however treat a different aspect of international market entry than the Uppsala school – that of new product launch and take-off in international markets, which differs from the general approach to the internationalisation process of firms. Contradicting these findings, Solberg and Durrieu (2006) show in their study of Norwegian exporters that cautious internationalisation strategies are negatively associated with performance, questioning the wisdom of a stepwise approach professed by the Uppsala school. One reason for this finding may be sought in the fact that a stepwise approach to international markets entails less risk than a bolder strategy, and that as a consequence the payoff is also less. Also, since the stages models were introduced in the late 1970s and 1980s globalisation of markets have altered the “rules of the game” and mandated a more aggressive stance to international markets (Knight and Cavusgil, 1996). In line with this reasoning, we anticipate a negative correlation between stepwise internationalisation strategies and performance. Conversely, challenger strategies are thought to be more rewarding (Solberg and Durrieu, 2006). Particularly in globalising markets it is thought that a more gregarious stance towards competition is necessary to pre-emptively capture positions in key markets before they are lost to competition (Hamel and Prahalad, 1986). Finally, the potential gains of follower strategies have received mixed support, Levitt (1966) professing the positive aspects of the lower cost approach, Kotler and Keller (2006, p. 361) maintaining that “[f]ollowership is often not a rewarding path”. Given the challenges of market operations in an international market setting, we assume that – emulating successful frontrunners, at lower cost and risk – followership will be positively associated with performance. Summing up this discussion we propose that: H5. Performance is positively associated with challenger, standardisation, integration and follower strategies, and negatively associated with stepwise internationalisation strategies. Finally, we propose generic strategies explain more of the variance of performance going both directly and through internationalisation strategies than working only IMR 25,5 528
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directly on performance. We believe in fact that firms deploying a richer set of strategic approaches at different levels will be able to more finely tune to the needs and challenges of different markets than those addressing these with one level of strategies only (generic or internationalisation): H6. Performance is better explained by direct and indirect effects from generic and internationalisation strategies than by either of them individually.
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