WINNING IN A GLOBAL MARKET : THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRAINING FOR SKILLS REQUIRED TO BE EFFECTIVE IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
Title: Winning in a Global Market: The Significance Of Training For Skills Required To Be Effective In International Marketing. Author: Peter Ohonsi Supervisor: Anders Hederstierna Department: School of Management, Blekinge Institute of Technology Course: Master’s Thesis in Business Administration, 10 credits. Background and Problem Discussion: International marketing has intensified and is evident in nearly all aspects of daily life. Local regions or national boundaries no longer restrict competitive forces. To be successful in today's global economy, companies must be simultaneously responsive to local and global market conditions. Hence, international marketing skills are an important ingredient for every company, whether or not it is currently involved in exporting activities. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to (1) Identify the skills needed to be effective in international marketing; (2) identify the level of importance of each of these skills; (3) identify the degree to which these skills are present in employees of exporting companies; and (4) describe the gap between the skills these employees have and the skills they need. Method: Data were collected, regarding skill importance, through a Delphi participant sample of thirty academic and practitioner international marketing experts. Companies, exporting between $500,000 and $50 million, were surveyed regarding the degree their employees possessed the identified skills. Possession ratings were compared across importance ratings, in a way that allowed skill-based areas for training programs to be prioritized. Theory: An extensive review of the literature was completed relative to determining which skills are required for effective international marketing. The literature provided several organizational frameworks, which focused on general elements of international marketing. Analysis: Sixty skills were identified as necessary for effective international marketing, and were classified into, and analyzed within categories - (1) planning and operational skills; (2) pricing skills; (3) promotional skills; (4) product skills; and (5) distribution skills. Twenty-four of the skills were rated as being highly important, thirty-six were rated as being of medium importance, and none were rated as being of low importance. Possession ratings were compared across importance ratings, which identified twenty-four international marketing skills as training priorities. Conclusion: There were three major managerial implications based on the findings: (1) Implications relating to the degree that small and medium-sized actively exporting companies may participate in international marketing training programs; (2) International promotional skills should be the topic most emphasized when offering international marketing training programs; and (3) This study has produced a new assessment tool which would go a long way to assist firms in identifying international marketing training needs.
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