BU491 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Marketing Strategy, Revlon, Masculinity
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Tech Test Answers Set #2
1. According the article” The end of Corporate Imperialism” by Prahalad and Lieberthal, the authors
identify a need for MNCs to transform. What kind of transformation are the authors referring to and
to what end. Please define and describe three (3) factors that would influence this transformation
from the material covered in BU481 and/ or BU491?
- To be successful in the emerging markets, companies need to have a new way of thinking
- The more the company understands the nature of the markets, the more they will have to rethink
and reconfigure every element of their business models:
- Success in the emerging markets will require innovation and resource shifts on such a scale that life
within the multinationals themselves will inevitably be transformed.
o Increasingly, as multinationals develop products better adapted to the emerging markets,
they are finding that those markets are becoming an important source of innovation. The
big emerging markets will also have a significant influence on the product development
philosophy of the MNCs.
o New product introductions will have to take into consideration non-traditional centers of
- Resource Shifts
o As corporate imperialism draws to a close, multinationals will increasingly look to emerging
markets for talent
o A major shift in geographical resources will take place within the next five years. (i.e. Philips
is already downsizing in Europe and reportedly employs more Chinese than Dutch workers)
Three factors that would influence this change:
- If the foreign market requires a different company structure to effectively access the markets, could
require shift in resource use or specific innovation in a certain area to compete with domestic
- The distribution networks in the market may demand a change in the companies way of distributing
their products in order to effectively reach the market, this would be a major resource shift
depending on the change.
- Requirement for local and global leadership may change with emerging markets, which combination
is best for fostering development; HR resource allocation would be affected by this.
- Industry barriers in new countries would also have impacts on how and where the company can
make resource shifts, and whether certain innovation is worth it.
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2. According the article” The end of Corporate Imperialism” by Prahalad and Lieberthal, please define
and describe “corporate imperialism” .How does this concept help to better understand past MNC
international strategies. Please describe two implications from this international strategy approach
for MNCs? Please provide an example described in the article or discussed in class.
Corporate imperialism is defined as: Having a narrow and arrogant perspective, assuming that
current product offerings (but lower-quality) in one’s own country can be successful in another
country failing to realize developing countries have their own unique needs and characteristics. ;
imposing Western models of commerce on developing countries. For years, executives have
assumed they could export their current business models around the globe.
o This concept helps to better understand past MNC international strategies because
using this mindset, companies would assume that the big emerging markets were
new markets for their old products. They anticipated an easy to achieve increase in
incremental sales for their existing products or the chance to squeeze profits out
of their old technologies. This thinking has lead to companies only being able to
obtain small segments of relatively affluent buyers. As a result they miss the very
real opportunity to reach much larger markets that make up the lower parts of the
socioeconomic pyramid (BOP market)
- Many multinationals did not consciously look at emerging markets as sources of
technical and managerial talent for their global operations. Due to this imperialist mind-
set, MNCs have achieved only limited success in those markets.
The implications for MNCs are:
- They must realize that success in the emerging markets will require innovation and
resource shifts. Therefore, as MNCs achieve success in those markets, they will also
bring corporate imperialism to an end.
- As MNCs try to understand the nature of these markets, the more they will have to
rethink and reconfigure every element of their business models.
- Successfully reaching these broader markets will require developing a deep and unbiased
understanding of the characteristics and needs of these developing markets.
Example: Revlon is an example from the article, where they introduced their western beauty products
to China in 1976 and India in 1994, where only the top-tier valued and could afford Revlon’s brand, they
underestimated the different cultural characteristics of the markets.
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