Walmart vs Carrefour

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A Comparative Study of Strategies Adopted by Wal-Mart and Carrefour in China: A Resource-Based Perspective

By Yue, LIU
September 2007

Acknowledgements

I appreciate my dissertation supervisor Dr Wang, for his continuous patience, support, guidance and constructive comment throughout the period of my dissertation. I would like to thank the professors and lectures from whom I learned a lot throughout my master year. I also would like to show my gratitude to Nottingham University Business School that provided this value chance for my postgraduate studies as well as the chance to conduct this research.

I wish to acknowledge all those who helped me with the information and data, and those who showed their support and care during this period. Last, but by no means least, thanks to all members of my family.

Abstract

This research aims to provide an overview of links between a firm’s strategies and the firm possessed resources and capabilities. Two cases—Wal-Mart and Carrefour in China are chosen. By using resources-based theory, their development strategies in China are compared and analyzed. This research adopted documentary research method, particularly firms’ historical documentary review and analysis, for this qualitative research to study each case.

In China’s retail market, the competition is intensive and market conditions are evolving. To capture greater market share in this market, Wal-Mart and Carrefour adapted their strategies to cater local customers as well as economic and political conditions. Although Wal-Mart and Carrefour in the same market environment, there are still differences between the strategies adopted by each giant retailer. Therefore, it is probably safe to argue that the differences between strategies adopted by the two retailers, to certain extent, are due to their distinct firm-specific resources and capabilities.

Contents
Page No.

Chapter 1 Introduction

(5)

1.1 Background 1.2 Research Questions 1.3 Aims and Objectives 1.4 Structure of the Research

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Chapter 2 Literature Reviews

(11)

2.1 Entry Modes 2.1.1 The Timing and Scale of Entry 2.1.2 Entry Modes 2.2 Operating Strategies 2.3 Positioning Strategies 2.3.1 Cost Leadership 2.3.2 Differentiation 2.3.3 Focus Strategy 2.4 Human Resource Management 2.4.1 HRM Adaptation to Local Context 2.5 Resource-Based Theory and Management Strategies 2.5.1 The Resource-Based Theory 2.5.2 Entry Modes Selection and Resource-Based Theory 2.5.3 Positioning Strategies and Resource-Based Theory 2.5.4 Human Resource Management and Resource-Based Theory

(11) (11) (14) (17) (18) (19) (20) (23) (24) (26) (31) (31) (33) (35) (36)

Chapter 3 Research Methodology

(39)

3.1 Research Design 3.2 Research Methods 3.3 Case Design 3.4 Data Collection 3.5 Summary

(39) (41) (42) (43) (46)

Chapter 4 Industry Analysis of Chinese Retail Market

(47)

4.1 Industry Facts 4.2 Market Definition 4.3 Internal Rivalry 4.4 Entry 4.5 Substitutes and Complements 4.6 Supplier Power 4.7 Buyer Power

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Chapter 5 Foreign Retailers in China—Wal-Mart and Carrefour

(59)

5.1 Wal-Mart 5.1.1 About Wal-Mart 5.1.2 Wal-Mart’s Entry into China 5.1.3 Wal-Mart’s Development in China 5.1.4 Wal-Mart’s Positioning in China 5.1.5 Wal-Mart’s Local Adaptation in China 5.1.6 Wal-Mart’s Sourcing in China 5.1.7 Human Resource Management and Public Relations 5.2 Carrefour 5.2.1 About Carrefour 5.2.2 Carrefour’s Entry into China 5.2.3 Carrefour’s Development into China

(59) (59) (61) (62) (64) (65) (67) (69) (70) (70) (71) (73)

5.2.4 Carrefour’s Positioning in China 5.2.5 Carrefour’s Local Adaptation in China 5.2.6 Carrefour’s Sourcing in China 5.2.7 Human Resource Management and Public Relations

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Chapter 6 Analysis of Wal-Mart and Carrefour’s Strategies

(82)

6.1 Assessment of Two Giants’ Strategies 6.1.1 Entry Strategies 6.1.2 Expansion Strategies 6.1.3...
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