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The 'Continuously Morphing' retail TNC during market entry: interpreting Tesco's expansion into the United States

Lowe, M.S. and Wrigley, Neil (2010) The 'Continuously Morphing' retail TNC during market entry: interpreting Tesco's expansion into the United States Economic Geography, 86, (4), pp. 381-408. (doi:10.1111/j.1944-8287.2010.01083.x).

Record type: Article


One important element of recent conceptualizations of the distinctive nature and challenges of retail transnational corporations (TNCs) is a focus on the mutual transformation of both the markets entered by the retail TNCs and, reciprocally, of the organizational structures of the firms themselves. There are important similarities between this view of ongoing transnational-operation-induced organisational transformation of the retail TNCs and processes which strategic and organisational management scholars describe as 'continuous morphing'. In this paper we provide a theoretically informed study of one of the most dynamic of the retail TNCs (Tesco plc) 'morphing' its organisational structures and competencies during a high risk, but potentially transformational, market entry into western USA. The paper positions the study within the rapidly emerging literature on transnational retail and the global economy, interprets the innovative dimensions of Tesco's US market entry - particularly its attempts to achieve 'territorial' and 'network embeddedness' - through the conceptual lens recently provided by economic geographers, and assesses ongoing transformational impacts of the entry on the firm. It attempts to add value to the literature on retail FDI by exploring a range of issues beyond those typically addressed in the recent dominantly emerging-market focused studies and, additionally, offers insight into opportunities for innovation in the market entry strategies of retail TNCs.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 16 July 2010
Published date: October 2010
Keywords: market entry, globalising retail, retail TNCs, us food retailing, territorial, network and societal embeddedness, continuous morphing, tesco, wal-mart
Organisations: Geography, Management


Local EPrints ID: 155495
ISSN: 0013-0095
PURE UUID: 92b3cac7-671b-4d68-82b0-f55b3520dbd8
ORCID for Neil Wrigley: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 28 May 2010 12:15
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:44

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