Country Typologies for the Multinational Corporation: A New Basic Approach

by Richard Holton, S. Sethi



The multinational corporation must develop a uniform global approach to the companies long-range planning, marketing and other functions, according to one view, in order to coordinate its activities around the world, industrialism has a culture all its own and basic human needs are similar everywhere. But for minor changes to adjust to peculiar local circumstances, therefore, essentially the same products can be sold with similar promotional appeals in all overseas markets. Another school of thought contends that all countries are different in critical ways, have their own cultures and face a unique set of problems that keep changing over time. Thus while basic human needs may be similar in all countries, they would not necessarily be satisfied with similar products and communication appeals. While most arguments for or against standardization are made with reference to marketing activities, their logic is equally valid in terms of other functions such as organizational and decision-making structures for subsidiary operations and home office/subsidiary relationships, executive compensation, industrial relations, job performance standards, expectations of employee loyalty, criteria for investment and financial control standards, and government intervention in and control of private business activities.

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