On the (in)effectiveness of standardized versus adapted international promotion strategies: Evidence from entrepreneurial firms

Magnus Hultman*, Pejvak Oghazi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study investigates how internationally active firms’ international promotion strategy is linked to international marketing performance. It addresses the issue of effectively balancing the economic benefits of standardized strategies with the potential performance gains achieved when adapting to local customer preferences and market situations. Based on contingency theory and the strategic fit paradigm, we argue that there is no panacea solution to the promotion strategy standardization versus adaptation debate. Instead, our empirical results from 298 international entrepreneurial product-market ventures based in Sweden support the view that international firms must fit the promotion strategy to relevant macro- and micro-environmental conditions in order to optimize their international marketing performance. Our results caution against assuming that all environmental factors exert an equivalent effect on the level of international promotion strategy standardization and reveal that neither standardization nor adaptation is a superior strategy in pursuing international marketing performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114351
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - 01.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Contingency theory
  • International promotion strategy
  • Performance
  • Standardization/adaptation
  • Strategic fit

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