Achieving ‘Glocal’ Success

Michael R. Czinkota and Ilkka A. Ronkainen
Marketing News
Current average rating    
Key Takeaways
  • The term “glocal” has been coined to describe an organizational approach that provides clear global strategic direction along with the flexibility to adapt to local opportunities and requirements. 

  • The successful adoption of this approach includes four dimensions: building a shared vision, broadening perspectives, finding capable managers and enabling internal cooperation.
  • The key is cooperation and joint value identification for the firm and its employees.

Companies that have adopted this approach have incorporated the following four dimensions into their organizations. 

Building a Shared Vision  

The first dimension relates to a clear and consistent long-term corporate mission that guides individuals wherever they work in the organization. Examples of this are Johnson & Johnson’s corporate credo of customer focus; Coca-Cola’s mission of leveraging global beverage brand leadership “to refresh the world, inspire moments of optimism and happiness, create value and make a difference”; Nestlé’s vision to make the company the “reference for nutrition, health and wellness”; and Samsung’s mission to “create superior products and services, thereby contributing to a better global society.” But formulating and communicating a vision or mission cannot succeed unless individual employees understand and accept the company’s stated goals and objectives.  

Broadening Perspectives 

This relates to the development of a cooperative mindset among region or country organizations to ensure the effective implementation of global strategies. Managers may believe that global strategies are intrusions on their operations if they do not have an understanding of the corporate vision, if they have not contributed to the global corporate agenda, if they are not given direct responsibility for its implementation or if there is no reward for their cooperation.   

Also, negative attitudes towards certain “foreign activities” such as marketing can prevent management abroad from participating fully in the process of change. Defensive, territorial attitudes can lead to the emergence of the “not invented here” syndrome—that is, country organizations objecting to or even rejecting a sound strategy. Education and information play a major role in getting local managers on board with a strategy, and, more important yet, in letting them work accurately with others. It is much easier to be truthful with others when one understands the issues at hand, as well as the plans for the future.  ​​​

The following article is available exclusively to Marketing News Subscribers and Members.


Author Bio:

Michael R. Czinkota and Ilkka A. Ronkainen
Michael R. Czinkota researches international business and marketing issues at Georgetown University. He served in trade policy positions in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. His International Marketing text, co-authored by Ilkka Ronkainen, is now in its 10th edition with Cengage.  
Ilkka A. Ronkainen is a member of the faculty of marketing and international business at Georgetown University. He has received the undergraduate teaching and research award twice, as well as the International Executive M.B.A. award.

Become a Member
Access our innovative members-only resources and tools to further your marketing practice.