Market driving strategies: Beyond localization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Adaptation to local customer preferences may result in a more rapid market acceptance, and market orientation studies often propound that firms need to closely monitor changes in the marketplace and adapt to customer needs in order to enhance firm performance (Slater & Narver, 1995). However, firms operating in multiple markets may choose minimal adaptation to local market trends in favor of introducing proprietary value propositions that satisfy customers' latent needs (Ghauri, Elg, Tarnovskaya, & Wang, 2011; Harris & Cai, 2002). Scholars suggest that such firms are “market driving” (Jaworski, Kohli, & Sahay, 2000). This paper investigates how firms can be market driving in foreign markets. Findings suggest that market driving firms tend to possess certain capabilities in order to reconcile conflicting demands in the local markets and company strategies at the global level. Using network, knowledge transfer, branding and market orientation literature, the present study provides evidence on the capabilities that global firms possess in order to drive markets. Based on a survey of 110 international companies, this study shows that strong capabilities in configuration, networking, knowledge transfer and internal branding can lead to market driving behavior. This study is the first to carry out a systematic investigation of market driving behavior in international firms.


  • Pervez Ghauri
  • Fatima Wang
  • Ulf Elg
  • Veronica Rosendo-Ríos
External organisations
  • University of Birmingham
  • King's College London
  • Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • Market driving, Standardization, International marketing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5682–5693
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch