J BUSN RES
Introducing Products Into Export Markets:
S. Tamer Cavusgil
Michigan State University
V. H. (Manek) Kirpalani
Success factors in international product entry are still not sufficiently understood.
Evidence from 130 published instances of international product entries is analyzed.
The findings reveal that factors responsible for international commercial success
are different for small and large firms. A number of hypotheses are formulated for
future testing on the basis of this exploratory study.
Knowledge of the factors that determine successfor international market product
entry is still rather sparse. Previous studies on international market product entry
have been undertaken when the world marketplace was less competitive and/or
were based on limited samples of exporters. This article probes a larger number
of more recent instances of reported success.
Considerable research has been reported on the factors that make for successful
international marketing for large multinational corporations (MNCs). From these
efforts, the conventional wisdom that developed was that high technology, substantial research and development, sophisticated marketing, and advanced forms
of organizational design were key contributors to international marketing success
for large firms (Vernon, 1970; Daniels et al., 1979). However, the smaller exporter
did not receive much attention.
A conclusion emerging from a study of 34 small firms was that the factors which
determine international marketing effectiveness for the small firm could be different
from those that apply to the large MNC (Kirpalani and Macintosh, 1980). For
instance, the concept of the international product life cycle, whereby the technological level reflected in new products generated by a firm gives it an edge in exports,
is often not applicable to a small firm with small R&D capacity and budgets. Indeed,