A Critical Review of One Key Reference Article: An Empirical Analysis of the Integration-Responsiveness Framework in Global Industries


Contribution of the Article          

Despite claims of existing literatures that in order for a business unit to function effectively, it must take on global competitiveness and sustain global attributes. However, the article emphasizes that a particular business unit can maintain and sustain a non-global competitive position in a global industry by focusing on competitive attributes that are directed towards the success and sustenance of a highly responsive local environment in which they operate. In addition to this, the article is important as it gives emphasis to the fact that quality customer service is the most important competitive attribute of any business unit.


Structure of the Article

            The first part of the article is the article abstract, which presented the general topic to be discussed by the study. It also served to catch the attention and the interest of the readers in order to read and understand the rest of the article.            

The introduction part of the article discussed the Integration-Responsiveness Framework briefly. This part also includes the main problem of the article, its purposes and the aims of the study.

The next part is the theoretical background of the article, which discussed the IR framework as a model in relation to global integration. It also included the industry forces that influence the competitive structure of global industries. Lastly, it also included the concept of Business-level strategy and its role in strategic management.

The next part is the research proposition, which emphasized on the different assumptions by the article. Such propositions are to be proven by the paper in the next part.

Methods and Data include the sample, the measures, and the data analysis done by the article and its authors in order to come up with sound and relevant results and conclusions.

The results and discussion part of the article discussed the findings of the article in three phases. In order to show and present the results or findings of the study effectively, several tables were presented.

The implications and conclusion part of the study included the contribution of the article to the society and to practical situations. It also indicated what it wanted to impart to its readers. The different limitations of the study were also emphasized, including its recommendations as guide to future researchers.


Approach or Methodology

            This study employed an exploratory research method, which involved three phases or steps, namely, the review of related literature of identified global industries, verification of 1 global competitor in the industry, and verifying the existence of high-level intra-industry trade. It also discussed the measures to be done, including the industry pressures, strategic variables, and performance. The data analysis done involved two phases, namely, the cluster analysis and the ANOVA analysis.


Key Findings

            The first key finding of the study emphasized that although competing in global industries, businesses or business units have different perceptions in terms of its industry characteristics. Such differences are attributed to the different industry forces that confront each group.

            The second key finding is that locally responsive businesses placed lesser emphasis on marketing differences compared to the global integration group and the multi-factorial business units.

            The last key finding of the study is that all the three groups, namely, the global integration group, the locally responsive group, and the multi-factorial business units group showed no performance differences.


Weaknesses of the Article

            One of the weaknesses of the article lies on the problems in relation to the availability, comparability, and reliability of secondary data, which excluded the examination of business units that are outside of the United States. The second problem is that this study focused only on business groups present in the United States.


Improved, Extended or Modified?

            It can be stated that this particular study can be improved by studying other business units that can be found outside the United States. The study also mentioned that it used multiple methods in examining the different business units chosen for the study. However, such methods, given its multiplicity can be used to examine other global industries around the world. Thus, in this sense, the findings of the study can be more conclusive and generalized. In addition, the study can be improved by exercising care in generalizing the findings of the study beyond the US context.   



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Roth, K. and Morrison, A.J. (1990). An Empirical Analysis of the Integration-Responsiveness Framework in Global Industries. Journal of International Business Studies, 21(4): 541-564.



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