This research advances four propositions and a conceptual model of country and company characteristics influencing key International Business Decisions (IBDs). The IBDs in this study are country selection and evaluation, entry mode, segmentation-targeting-positioning, and the marketing mix – the first two in the international business domain, and the latter two in the international marketing field. The conceptual model and related four propositions are advanced, based on an extensive literature review and subsequent in-depth review of 169 published research papers on major IBDs and their determinants, namely, country characteristics, including opportunities, risks, and various distances between the host country and home country, and company characteristics, which include international business experience, assets/resources, and expansion/growth strategies. Managerial implications and directions for future research are discussed.
In today’s global economy, more and more companies are expanding beyond the home country. Globalization is fueled by two distinct and opposing forces - companies are either attracted to vast opportunities outside their home country (pull force), or have no choice but to seek markets abroad because domestic markets have become so competitive that the companies are literally expelled out of their home market (push force). For example, several U.S. multinationals, such as Apple, Avon, Boeing, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, and Mondelēz, derive more than fifty percent of sales revenue from markets abroad, demonstrating a strong “pull” effect of foreign markets (Cateora, Gilly, Graham, & Money, 2016). In contrast, several U.S. companies have foreign homes – for example, 7-Eleven, Japan; Budweiser, Belgium; Chrysler, Italy; Gerber, Switzerland; The Wall Street Journal, Australia; and T-Mobile, Germany, - demonstrating the “push” force at play (Cateora et al., 2016.) The two forces are referred to as “Pull” and “Push” effects in international business (IBM - Introduction, 2017). International marketers, thus, face the challenge of entering foreign markets and establishing operations there to succeed, or even to survive, creating a dynamic international landscape. With the challenges that international markets present, it is essential for academic research “to be in perfect synchrony” with this complex landscape (Kumar, 2015, p. 6), and to understand strategies thought to lead to success abroad - the purpose of the present study.