The literature on standardization of international marketing strategy has rapidly increased in amount since Levitt (1983) suggested the main concept that business strategies and their influences on firm performance should be universal through national markets which are very much alike culturally, economically and politically, in spite of limited empirical evidence focused directly on this topic. He pointed out that world markets are becoming more and more identical and therefore a standardized approach to company operations, productions, marketing and other functions is feasible and advisable. This review focuses on a limited number of articles written since the first issue of standardization that addressed the aspect of advertising by Elinder in 1961, and selected from the main journals in business and management theory. There has been an ongoing debate about positive and negative aspects of business strategy based on total standardization across national markets, in contrast with complete adaptation strategies to individual markets (Leonidou, 2003). The first section of the study makes an observation of methodological orientations of selected literature; meanwhile the second section claims that worldwide markets have become so uniform and homogeneous that international corporations are given the opportunity of marketing standardized products and services around the world using identical strategies with the aim of cutting down expenditures and increasing profits (Jain, 1989). Furthermore, Clark (1990) argues that such elements of marketing process as product positioning, naming, branding etc., and customer services affect the degree of standardization in marketing strategy in different ways. However, the main finding of this review is that the degree of standardization or adaptation of marketing strategy designed to achieve higher... [continues]
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