Environmental Changes and the Impact on International Marketing Strategies: The Case of the Textile Industry in Zimbabwe
ZORORO MURANDA AND JAN-ERIK JAENSSON
The influence of the external environment on a firm's strategy in international marketing is a result of a combination of international market influences, domestic market influences and the internal structural weaknesses of individual firms. The poor performance of Zimbabwe's textile and clothing sector is the result of two and half decades of protection, economic structural changes in the domestic market, limited vision of opportunities in different international markets and inability to adapt strategy to quick changes in both the international and domestic market. Firms in this sector lack experience and knowledge of the wider external markets except for a few niches in Europe, the United States and the Southern Africa region. This has become a handicap in the firms' ability to internatinalize their operations.
Perhaps the important question to be answered at this point is, What implications does environmental variable analysis have on company strategy? In the literature of marketing, the role of environmental analysis in influencing how organizations shape their future strategies has never been contested. However, there has been a debate on whether the environment should be regarded in marketing and strategy choice as simply a deterministic factor and therefore not influenced by the firm or, conversely, should also be considered as applicable.
The traditional marketing theory has tended to view the environment as a deterministic influence to which the organization adapts its strategies. McCarthy ( 1960) in his "4 Ps" model argued that the environment has uncontrollable factors that are external. In his view, the internal aspects of the organization can