Tacconelli, Wance and Wrigley, Neil
Organizational challenges and strategic responses of retail TNCs in post-WTO-entry China
Economic Geography, 85, (1), . (doi:10.1111/j.1944-8287.2008.01003.x).
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In the context of a market characterized by the enduring legacy of socialism through governmental ownership of retail businesses, the continued presence of domestic retailers, and increasing levels of competition, this article examines the organizational challenges faced by, and the strategic responses adopted by, a group of leading food and general merchandise retail transnational corporations (TNCs) in developing networks of stores in the post-WTO-entry Chinese market. On the basis of extensive interview-based fieldwork conducted in China from 2006 to 2008, the article details the attempts of these retail TNCs to embed their operations in Chinese logistics and supply networks, real estate markets, and consumer cultures—three dimensions that are fundamental to the achievement of market competitiveness by the retail TNCs. The article illustrates how this process of territorial embeddedness presents major challenges for the retail TNCs and how their strategic responses vary substantially, indicating different routes to the achievement of organizational legitimacy in China. The article concludes by offering an analysis of the various strategic responses of the retail TNCs and by suggesting some future research propositions on the globalization of the retail industry.
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