Globalization has become a buzzword. But also an undeniable phenomenon, describing, in a narrow sense, the economic integration of national economies into a world economy mainly through trade, foreign direct investments (FDI), capital and technology flows (Bhagwati, 2004, p. 3). Controversy prevails over the consequences of this phenomenon: while some foresee the rise of a universal civilization, including universal values and consumption patterns, others consider local cultures to be relatively resistant to the assumed erosive effects of globalization (Mooij, 2009, pp. 6-7). Moving the debate at the level of corporations, as agents of globalization, one question has dominated the minds of international marketing scholars for the last forty years: should companies ride the globalization wave by relying on the first premise, that of a convergence of consumer behavior around the world, or by catering to the diversity of local tastes, beliefs, preferences etc. The first implies a standardized marketing strategy, with global products and a global marketing-mix, the second involves adapting both products and the marketing-mix to the local reality.
KeywordsEuropean Union Foreign Direct Investment Contingency Factor International Marketing European Union Membership
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