The Effects of Free Market Reforms on Market Openness, Market Attractiveness and International Marketing Strategies
MANJIT S. YADAV AND DAVID M. SZYMANSKI
This chapter examines the marketing challenges and opportunities created by the unprecedented economic transition occurring in several European, Asian and Latin American countries. The trend toward market reform or economic liberalization continues unabated and is likely to alter the economic landscapes of dozens of countries. Much has been written lately about what should be reformed and how these reforms should be implemented. However, a review of the marketing and economics literature reveals that no empirical research has been conducted on (1) factors that managers consider when evaluating the adequacy of reforms in a target market, (2) the impact of these factors on perceptions of market openness and market attractiveness, or (3) the impact of these factors on the development of firms' international marketing strategies. Research on these questions is needed not only for understanding the firm's behavior in these emerging markets, but also for formulating appropriate public policy recommendations regarding the implementation of free market reforms.
Free market reforms involve changes in governmental policy aimed at bringing more freedom to the marketplace. This is generally accomplished by "reducing the role of the authorities, increasing reliance on the price mechanism rather than controls, establishing or strengthening market institutions, and integrating the country into the world economy" ( Marer, 1991: 329). The conceptualization that guides our research program (see Figure 11.1) shows how free market reforms impact market openness, market attractiveness and international marketing strategies of firms. A brief overview of the rationale behind the conceptualiza-