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Understanding the Definition and Development of Marketing Capabilities in Chinese Multinationals and the Influence of Institutional Elements: A Narrative Inquiry Strategy to Study Chinese Managers’ Experiences

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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The case study is based on my PhD research about the role of home institutions in the development of marketing capabilities of Chinese companies expanding their operations abroad, which explores how unique Chinese institutional elements (such as the culture, history, and legal framework) influence Chinese marketing development paths. My research also explored if and how the effectiveness of home-grown marketing capabilities is affected by the different business context abroad. Using a qualitative approach and narrative inquiry strategy, the analysis and further interpretation of 35 narrative interviews helped me to understand how managers and senior managers from Chinese firms make sense of the definition, development, and deployment of marketing capabilities and compare them with those of Western firms, while evaluating how they interpret the influence of Chinese institutional elements on the development of these capabilities. The case study describes the project and the context of the research, and focuses on the research strategy selected. It analyzes the process of conducting narrative inquiry in a Chinese organizational context, highlighting the practicalities and mode of actions as well as identifying the challenges and lessons learnt during the process. This case study aims at providing useful tips and recommendations and a valuable benchmark to postgraduate and research students conducting qualitative research in the context of international business, especially narrative inquiry.

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