Globalizing internationals: Business portfolio and marketing strategies in the ICT field

P. Gabrielsson, M. Gabrielsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies originating from small and open economies (SMOPEC), such as Finland, face the tremendous challenge of moving from the international to the global arena and developing global marketing strategies. Earlier studies have merely recognized the phenomena and postulated preliminary assumptions about the behavior of globalizing internationals. In the ICT field, all the major globalization drivers-be they changes in the macro environment, industry globalization, or pressure for increased internal efficiency-point in only one direction: globalize or die. Limited managerial and financial resources are often the challenge for companies originating from small and open economies. The study received preliminary empirical support from the ICT field that globalizing internationals select only one or at most a few of a large number of unrelated international businesses for globalization. As globalization matures, they further seek growth through related diversification. Implementation at the business unit level seems to require a change in marketing strategies; both the broadness of the marketing offering and the degree of standardization were found to evolve as globalization proceeds. At the beginning of the globalization process, a more focused marketing strategy was selected, which was then broadened as globalization proceeded. Moreover, the marketing strategy was increasingly standardized in respect to products, but also to a certain extent for brands and channels. The article develops a framework and propositions that are examined with the multiple case-study method. It also suggests further empirical testing with a survey study. Finally, it draws both theoretical and managerial conclusions that are expected to be particularly useful for ICT companies from SMOPEC countries, but interestingly also for the US companies that are competing fiercely against globalizing internationals.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Business Review
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)661-684
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • Business portfolio
  • Globalizing internationals
  • Marketing strategies


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