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Regional business networks in the multinational retail sector

Girod, S. J. G. and Rugman, A. M. (2005) Regional business networks in the multinational retail sector. Long Range Planning, 38 (4). pp. 335-357. ISSN 0024-6301

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.lrp.2005.04.010


This article examines the network relationships of a set of large retail multinational enterprises (MNEs). We analyze under what conditions a flagship-network strategy (characterized by a network of five partners – the MNE, key suppliers, key partners, selected competitors and key organisations in the non-business infrastructure) explains the internationalisation of three retailers whose geographic scope, sectoral conditions and competitive strategies differ substantially. We explore why and when retailers will adopt a flagship strategy. The three firms are two U.K.-based multinational retailers (Tesco and The Body Shop) and a French-based global retailer (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton). We find evidence of strong network relationships for all three retailers, although each embraces network strategies for different reasons. Their flagship relationships depend on each retailer's strategic use of firm-specific-advantages (FSAs) and country-specific advantages (CSAs). We find that a flagship strategy can succeed in overcoming internal and/or environmental constraints to cross-border resource transfers, which are barriers to foreign direct investment (FDI). We provide recommendations on why and when to use a flagship-based strategy and which type of network partners to prioritize in order to succeed internationally.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:38460

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