The intensifying presence of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in emerging markets is of continued interest to strategy and international management scholars. In terms of theory, we know little about how proactive, agile route-to-market (RTM) decisions are made, developed and implemented to enable strategic renewal and sustainability in socio-economic contexts. Our aim in this paper is to understand the factors underpinning RTM agile capabilities, and how they influence the development of the agile distribution strategies of two competing consumer packaged goods multinational enterprises (CPG MNEs) (Mondelez International and Nestlé) in Paraguay. Drawing on the resource-based view (RBV), strategic agility and microfoundations perspectives, we examine their RTM adaptation approaches within the context of a common ‘product-market venture’ distribution in Paraguay. Methodologically, we undertake an inductive approach to interrogate the data and adopt a two-pronged examination of distribution-related archival data from these two MNEs, as well as interviewing 20 of their local senior managers, distributors and point-of-sale operators, as ‘knowledgeable agents’, in order to comprehend the market realities of the distribution-end of their value chain. Local contextual influences and RTM agile managerial capabilities, particularly those rooted at micro-market levels, have strong influences on the RTM strategies of these CPG MNEs in their devising of proactive, innovative and locally aligned or relevant ways to overcome local barriers to sustaining regeneration of their competitive advantages. We end by discussing how the insights presented in this paper extend the field of research in strategic agility in international distribution in different socio-economic contexts.
- value chain, adaptation, agility, microfoundations, multinationals, route-to-market
- Value chain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management