Abstract

Numerous studies in mainstream product commercialization research have focused on the three main aspects; order of entry, relative product advantages, and firm competitiveness. However, the emphasis of the extant research base has not completely found it’s way to investigating the concerns of speed of new product rollouts from a global launch perspective. Specifically, little attention has been given to study the details of the nature of sequential launch and simultaneous launch strategies. This paper aims to provide a better understanding of the concepts of sequential and simultaneous international product rollouts through a review of the literature and theory-building endeavours. Although there is evidence of interest pertaining to the launch concepts and their consequences on product success, little research has employed a strong theoretical foundation that integrates both launch strategies in a single framework. Consequently, academics and practitioners are left with limited guidelines for determining the appropriate launch approach when introducing a new product to the global marketplace. To fill the knowledge gap, the authors develop a contextualized model that compares and contrasts the effectiveness of the respective launch strategies along varying degrees of environmental hostility, dynamism, and complexity. The authors highlight conceptual and methodological issues that are imperative for future empirical investigation. We draw on contingency theory and adopt a strategic alignment perspective to develop our conceptual model. Contingency theory has been established as a tool to identify a viable match between organizational strategies and environmental conditions to exploit opportunities and threats. .” There are a number of empirical studies that have used contingency theory and shown that environmental-strategy fit relates positively to performance. Firms, therefore, need to implement different launch strategies according to specific environmental setting (e.g., global customer preference, general competitive reactions, foreign regulation standards, economic conditions) when launching new products beyond national borders. Research propositions are introduced to describe potential contingency effects on the launch strategy–performance link. It is crucial, however, that the decision for employing a specific approach should not be determined solely on the basis of direct advantages (or disadvantages) of launch strategies. This study views that neither sequential nor simultaneous launch strategy, in isolation, is sufficient in explaining the overall outcome of launch strategies. Export managers should therefore take into account the contingency perspective for optimizing launch performance. The selection of a particular launch strategy will be a key determinant of the success of a new product’s introduction into the market.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-2278
Print ISSN
0022-037X
Pages
pp. 389-405
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-14
Open Access
No
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