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Internationalisation Strategies and Industry Structure

International Marketing in the Fast Changing World

ISBN: 978-1-78560-233-7, eISBN: 978-1-78560-232-0

Publication date: 24 October 2015



This paper studies the moderating effect of industry structure on strategy-performance relationships in international markets.


We have carried out a survey among a sample of German, Norwegian and Singaporean small and medium sized firms, and test – using structural equation modelling (EQS) – four hypotheses founded in industrial organisation,


We find that industry structure indeed matters. The general picture is that cautious internationalisation strategies are more effective in fragmented industries than in concentrated industries. Also, with somewhat more nuance, global marketing strategies – such as standardisation and integration – seem by and large to be more effective in concentrated industries than in fragmented industries.


The operationalisation of industry structure in an international context is challenging and we have deviated from the traditional Herfindahl–Hirschman Index. This may be a limitation but we also consider it a strength, given the weaknesses of this index in an international setting. The study is cross-sectional and should ideally follow each firm over time, again a challenging endeavour.


Despite a considerable amount of studies on strategy – performance relationships in international markets, there is no general agreement on the topic. We argue that a contingency approach needs to be taken, and that industry structure is one important factor not yet analysed.



Solberg, C.A. and Durrieu, F. (2015), "Internationalisation Strategies and Industry Structure", International Marketing in the Fast Changing World (Advances in International Marketing, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 33-59.



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