Competitive strategy choices of Turkish manufacturing firms in European Union

Demirbag, Mehmet and Tatoglu, Ekrem (2008) Competitive strategy choices of Turkish manufacturing firms in European Union. Journal of Management Development, 27 (7). pp. 727-743. ISSN 0262-1711

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to consider competitive strategy choices of Turkish manufacturing firms operating in EU markets and their action programs in responding to emerging opportunities and threats led by recent developments in Turkey-EU relations. Drawing on a sample of 79 large size Turkish manufacturing firms, the relative use of competitive strategies and action programs by sample firms operating in EU markets was examined by undertaking both descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses. The most heavily used competitive strategy choices were found to be growth strategies aiming to extend current product lines with related products through enabling standardization and technology sharing. The highest ranked action programs implemented by Turkish manufacturing firms focused on enabling integration. The findings of the study indicated that the relative use of competitive strategy options varied to a certain extent between the market entry modes of Turkish firms (equity based and non-equity based) serving the EU markets. However, no variation was found between the implementation level of action programs and the choice of a particular market entry mode by sample firms. While the variation in the implementation level of several of the competitive strategies appears to be readily justifiable, the reason for the variation is not always clear. It is also necessary to extend the analysis to consider the relative use of strategy options and action programs along with other variables, such as the governance and transaction cost variables. Based on a sample of large size manufacturing firms, this study is the first attempt to identify, classify and explain the key competitive strategy choices and action programs implemented by Turkish firms in EU markets.