Co-creation on a global scale: How customers impact firms’ internationalization strategies
The importance of customers in international strategy has largely been neglected or relegated to the simple and rather passive role of a buyer. In this article, we suggest a different approach and identify the potential impact of co-creation activities. We provide several examples of how customers are more actively involved in global value creation and thereby impact firms’ international posture.
Christiane Prange and Zelal Ates EM Lyon Business School
In order to survive in today’s global markets, firms need to constantly innovate, e.g., provide customers with new offerings, transform traditional processes and introduce organisational changes. For a long time, major multinational firms have opted to keep the drivers of these innovations internally. Recently, several companies have realized that collaboration with external parties proves useful to extend the boundaries of the firm’s network of ideas (Hagedoorn/Duysters 2002; Su et al. 2009). This is also reflected in the international marketing and strategy literature, which has identified various ways of collaborative innovation efforts, e.g. international alliances, subsidiary-driven innovations, innovation networks (Almeida/Phene 2004; Boehe 2007). However, the role of the customer in driving these strategies has received surprisingly little attention (Leonidas/Katsikeas 2003).
Customers in International Strategy Extant research on customers in international strategy has mainly revolved around the tension of global scale economies versus local adaptation, and market entry strategies. Typically, firms start their internationalization processes abroad for reasons of ‘market-seeking’ or ‘client following’ to transfer domestically successful business models or customer relations to foreign countries (CardoneRiportella et al. 2003). For instance,... [continues]
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