Localizing International Business


Special issue of Journal of Business Research, Edited by Michael Czinkota, Suraksha Gupta and Man?Ling Chang; Deadline 15 Jul 2014

Call for Papers
Journal of Business Research Special Issue

Localizing International Business

Localization is a term used by managers of international firms to describe the process of transformation they adopt for changing the look and feel of their product or service. Localization services address regional requirements of a target market and emphasize the capability to offer a specific local experience to users. Technology plays an increasing role in internationalizing firms through use of virtual space by creating awareness and driving sales of products in foreign markets. Managerial knowledge can allow the scalability required to capture the potential of the foreign market.

The concept of localization emerged when particular consumer goods manufacturers had to translate their product manuals into local languages and study local factors that influenced purchase behaviors. Use of native-knowledge allows integration of marketing orientation with strategic orientation to drive value so that the international firm becomes and remains competitive in the local market. Current academic understanding recommends keeping the financial control at the home office. Local personnel in the host country helps craft an identity of their firm that adapts to the requirement and taste of the local customers in different markets across the globe, while not neglecting the importance of marketing in the process.

A report by the Boston Consulting Group, The Internet’s New Billion, highlights the future scope of marketing. Firms that want to serve the 72% of consumers in the world who do not speak English, will need to extend the focus of their marketing strategies. One change will be the transformation of communications to understand and imbibe the local culture. Localization in the marketing context takes place in multiple ways: use of local languages for localization of messages relayed through websites or social media; adaptation of innovative marketing practices; implementation of standardized policies that reflect not only local understanding of language but also of customs, culture, content, aesthetics, values and regulations. Extension of this concept echoes the difference between internationalization and globalization as polycentric orientation akin to standardization versus adaptation. The extent to which global localization requires adaptation needs to be understood. Furthermore, we use the terms interchangeably that is, global standardization; regional standardization and global localization make the differences between standardization, adaptation, and localization very blurry. Therefore, various cause and effect issues also may arise: what are the drivers of international standardization and global localization? In light of significant changes in globalization practice and expectations, how have the conditions and the context for localization changed? Studies need to reflect on the individual strengths of these constructs and at the same time explain the linkages between them. Current knowledge about the international business, management and marketing domain lack theories that can explain how international business and global marketing concepts are different from localization. Researchers may benefit from recognizing that localization extends from a position at the periphery to one of centrality in formulating a strategic direction.

We invite papers that reflect the dynamism of localization of activities and marketing plans; papers should build bridges between different streams of literature, using theoretical, methodological and managerial rigor. Papers submitted should discuss the new criticality of managing in an era of globalization and localization. Submissions made will go through a double-blind peer review process. Submissions should be based on insights that are rigorously grounded in current knowledge but also reflect contemporaneous changes which require the adaptation to otherwise well-established findings. Research papers addressing managerial implications of localization and provide relevant guidelines to managers by explaining how the proposed theory can be put into practice are particularly desirable. The guest editors will also consider conceptual, empirical and case studies for the review process that address issues surrounding, but not necessarily limited to the following research areas:

  • Standardization adaptation theories concurrent with localization
  • Link of localization and performance in highly competitive markets
  • Repercussions of localization on market entry strategies
  • The effect of marketing innovation on localization
  • Role of SMEs in providing differentiated localization
  • Role of international corporate structures to help establish, communicate and transfer localization approaches
  • Effect of localization on pricing strategy
  • Influence of localization on branding, identity, reputation and responsibility
  • Changes of corporate brand extension strategy due to localization
  • Localization to drive competitiveness
  • Transferring and managing image and associations in the local markets
  • Need for and implementation of new education approaches furthering localization

Deadline for submission: July 15, 2014

Special Issue Editors:


Aguiar M.,Boutenko V., Michael D., Rastogi V., Subramanian A. and Zhou Y. (2010). Boston Consulting Group Report on The Internet’s New Billion: Digital Consumers in Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia. Downloaded from weblink on September 3, 2013. http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/BCGInternetReport.pdf

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Czinkota M.R. and Ronkainen I.A. (2012). International marketing (10th edition). Cincinnati Cengage South-Western Publishing

Perlmutter H. V. (1993). The tortuous evolution of the multinational corporation. Organization of transnational corporations, London-New York, 295-308.

Samiee S. and Roth K. (1992) The influence of global marketing standardization on performance. The Journal of Marketing, 1-17.

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