A Model for Expanding Your Business into Foreign Markets

by uwebidwell02

Four strategies leaders should adopt when taking their brand abroad.

May 17, 2024

Sergey Narevskih/Stocksy



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  • It used to be thought that globalization would flatten out cultural differences among countries and regions of the world, making it easier than ever for companies to move into foreign markets. According to a new study by the author and a colleague, however, cultural differences are greater today than they were 40 years ago, which explains why some major corporations have failed in their recent efforts to establish a foothold in new countries. Companies need to adapt, the author argues, and to that end in this article he presents a general model for global leadership in the face of cultural divergence.

    Walmart in the 1990s seemed on pace to become a global giant. After rapid growth in the U.S. domestic market throughout the 1980s, the company opened its first international store in Mexico City in 1991, followed by Canada in 1994. By 1998 it had expanded to Germany and South Korea, betting that its “always the low price” approach to business would be enough to outcompete foreign vendors.

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    • Joshua Conrad Jackson is a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.



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  • New!


    HBR Learning

    Global Collaboration Course

    Accelerate your career with Harvard ManageMentor®. HBR Learning’s online leadership training helps you hone your skills with courses like Global Collaboration. Earn badges to share on LinkedIn and your resume. Access more than 40 courses trusted by Fortune 500 companies.

    Learn how to overcome barriers when working globally.

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