Emerging Challenges in International Marketing Knowledge Management

Call for papers for: International Marketing Review

Emerging Challenges in International Marketing Knowledge Management


Guest Editors:

Professor Manlio Del Giudice (Lead Managing Guest Editor), University of Rome “Link Campus”, Italy, Deputy Chancellor & Editor in Chief – Journal of Knowledge Management

Professor Demetris Vrontis (IMR Associate Editor and Supervising Guest Editor), School of Business, University of Nicosia, President – EuroMed Academy of Business

Professor Arvind Malhotra (Guest Editor), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States, Senior Editor – Organization Science

Professor Piyush Sharma (Guest Editor), School of Marketing, Curtin University, Associate Editor (International Business) – Journal of Business Research

Submissions open for the special issue on September 01, 2020, and close on February 01, 2021.

Existing research offers solid argumentations about the role of knowledge management as a driver of internationalization and competitiveness (Del Giudice & Della Peruta, 2016). As confirmed by Kuivalainen et al. (2004), knowledge-intensive firms have experienced more robust and structured internationalization processes than traditional ones, confirming a strategic agility in sustaining a competitive advantage under technological and market turbulence (Christofi et al., 2013). The pivotal role of knowledge is even more remarkable in the current globalized world where open innovation processes are exploited to build and sustain competitive advantages in international markets (Santoro et al., 2018). Therefore, in a context characterized by complexity and ambiguity, knowledge management capabilities and tools are increasingly considered fundamental to support innovation processes and international market operations (Vrontis et al., 2017).

The process of creation, dissemination and storage of knowledge can enhance a firm’s strategic, innovative and marketing capabilities. Hence, from a marketing perspective, this may overcome the boundaries of firms toward successfully creating and gathering customers’ knowledge in extreme environments (Malhotra & Majchrzak, 2004). Extending the resource-based view (Wernerfelt, 1984) and dynamic capabilities theory (Zahra et al., 2006), marketing knowledge management (MKM) could be considered a phenomenon which regards business intelligence and management information system to foster the organization’s market success (Del Giudice & Maggioni, 2014).

International marketing strategies, specifically, have to deal with complex market situations from the point of view of necessary knowledge, as they are applied to satisfy the needs of people residing across borders (Malhotra & Birks, 2007). In this vein, marketing managers have to continuously gather new knowledge of foreign cultures and to conveniently exploit a firm’s creativity by combining the two dimensions “local” and “global” (Berthon et al., 2012). Yet, in this sense, internationalization can also be conceived as a process for continuous value creation, based on organizational learning (Ruigrok & Wagner, 2003) and knowledge management practices, that is able to evolve a firm’s value chains from a transactional to an inter-organizational perspective. 

Knowledge-based companies have the capability to perceive and manage market information effectively, especially to detect both variations in customers’ demand and new market opportunities in a timely manner (Malhotra & Kubowicz, 2011). Hence, it is possible to infer that export performance, innovativeness and firm performance are most beneficial for firms with strong networking and MKM capabilities (Boso et al., 2013; Davcik & Sharma, 2016). However, as Tsai and Shih (2004) affirm, business performance is affected only indirectly by knowledge management, through its association with marketing capabilities. This poses a complementary relationship between knowledge management and marketing capabilities. Against this backdrop, a well-rounded knowledge management strategy allows firms to detangle and frame the different cultural layers which matter in international marketing strategies (Steenkamp 2001), to reach the right global audience and thrive in international markets.

However, despite the wealth of studies on international marketing and the renewed and rising interest in knowledge management, thus far, there seems to be a lack of literature considering the two streams jointly. One exception suggested the strategic role of MKM as a major source of competitive success (Hanvanich et al., 2003). In this vein, MKM refers to the specific scope of knowledge associated with organizational marketing processes, which is more vital in international contexts and for international marketing strategy. Nevertheless, we still know little about this phenomenon especially concerning the relationship between the strategic orientation, the international growth and the related practice of marketing knowledge management (Cadogan, 2012). Moreover, there are scarce insights about how firms and organizations may build marketing knowledge capabilities and use (international) marketing knowledge when advances in technology and digital innovations become helpful in gathering information and market data (Zahra et al., 2000; Gold et al., 2001; Del Giudice & Straub, 2011). In this context, businesses can accumulate huge amounts of customer data that they are able to transform into customer insights, namely the basis for enhancing customer relationship management, international marketing activities and strategies, and produce input for innovation activities (Shaw et al., 2001).

In a nutshell, there is room to explore the relationship between international marketing and knowledge management. First, studies should focus on internationalization strategies and market operations and the key role of knowledge management practices, processes and activities (Cadogan, 2012; Leonidou et al., 2018). Second, there is a need to explore the issue regarding international marketing intelligence and data, which can be considered the building of marketing knowledge management systems. In this regard, research should focus on the key role of digital platforms, social media, resources and capabilities for exploring and exploiting knowledge for market success. Third, scholars should pay attention to international marketing relationships and networks, whereas new global relationships allow for the establishment of global knowledge management practices to foster global market competitiveness.

Based on these premises, the aim of the special issue is to consistently extend the concepts, considerations and theories regarding the impact of knowledge and knowledge management practices and processes on international marketing strategies, activities and operations.

We expect research and methodologies consistent with highest standards. These may include qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches. Contributions should span across different approaches/levels of analysis and offer a broad international viewpoint on these issues. All the papers should highlight the implications for international marketing, highlighting in general the key role of knowledge and its management.

We welcome research articles bridging the gap between theoretical conceptions and practical insights.

Such studies might be focused on, but not limited to, the following areas of research and related topics:

1) Internationalization and market operations:

  • Internationalization strategies and market success: the role of knowledge management practices
  • International marketing mix strategies and knowledge management
  • Export performance and knowledge management strategies
  • Country-based cultural influence and knowledge management in international market activities
  • Intra- and inter-organizational knowledge hiding behaviours in international market operations
  • Knowledge management and decision-making in international market operations
  • Knowledge management for reducing institutional distances in international marketing strategies
  • Knowledge management for innovation and new product development in international markets

2) International marketing intelligence and data:

  • Digital platforms for managing globally dispersed knowledge
  • Capturing and transferring knowledge in international marketing operations
  • Customers’ insights and knowledge management in international market operations
  • Building capabilities for international marketing knowledge management
  • Digital resources for international marketing knowledge management
  • Social media and knowledge management in international contexts
  • International customer relationship management: implications for knowledge management

3) International marketing relationships and networks:

  • International open innovation strategies and market success
  • Global networks and new products and services commercialization
  • Knowledge acquisition and transfer strategies and market success
  • International marketing ecosystems and knowledge management
  • Global customer insights for innovative products, services and business models
  • Actors, networks and processes: types of knowledge and international marketing operations


Submission Information

Papers targeting the special issue should be submitted through the IMR submission system (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/imrev) and will undergo a similar review process as regularly submitted papers. Submissions for the special issue begin September 01, 2020, with the final deadline for submissions being February 01, 2021.

Questions pertaining to the special issue should be directed to Professor Manlio Del Giudice (Managing Guest Editor) [email protected] and Professor Demetris Vrontis [email protected].



Berthon, P. R., Pitt, L. F., Plangger, K., & Shapiro, D. (2012). Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business horizons, 55(3), 261-271.

Boso, N., Story, V. M., Cadogan, J. W., Micevski, M., & Kadić-Maglajlić, S. (2013). Firm innovativeness and export performance: Environmental, networking, and structural contingencies. Journal of International Marketing21(4), 62-87.

Cadogan, J. W. (2012). International marketing, strategic orientations and business success: reflections on the path ahead. International Marketing Review29(4), 340-348.

Christofi, M., Kaufmann, H. R., Vrontis, D., & Leonidou, E. (2013). Cause-related marketing and strategic agility: an integrated framework for gaining the competitive advantage. World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development9(4), 518-542.

Davcik, N. S., & Sharma, P. (2016). Marketing resources, performance, and competitive advantage: A review and future research directions. Journal of Business Research69(12), 5547-5552.

Del Giudice, M., & Della Peruta, M. R. (2016). The impact of IT-based knowledge management systems on internal venturing and innovation: a structural equation modeling approach to corporate performance. Journal of Knowledge Management, 20(3), 484-498.

Del Giudice, M., & Maggioni, V. (2014). Managerial practices and operative directions of knowledge management within inter-firm networks: a global view. Journal of Knowledge Management, 18(5), 841-846.

Del Giudice, M., & Straub, D. (2011). Editor's comments: IT and entrepreneurism: an on-again, off-again love affair or a marriage?. MIS Quarterly, 35(4), iii-viii.

Gold, A. H., Malhotra, A., & Segars, A. H. (2001). Knowledge management: An organizational capabilities perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18(1), 185-214.

Hanvanich, S., Dröge, C., & Calantone, R. (2003). Reconceptualizing the meaning and domain of marketing knowledge. Journal of Knowledge Management, 7(4), 124-135.

Kuivalainen, O., Sundqvist, S., Puumalainen, K., & Cadogan, J. W. (2004). The effect of environmental turbulence and leader characteristics on international performance: are knowledge‐based firms different?. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences/Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l'Administration21(1), 35-50.

Leonidou, L. C., Katsikeas, C. S., Samiee, S., & Aykol, B. (2018). International marketing research: A state-of-the-art review and the way forward. In Advances in Global Marketing (pp. 3-33). Springer, Cham.

Malhotra, A., & Kubowicz, C. (2011). Evaluating customer information breaches as service failures: An event study approach. Journal of Service Research, 14(1), 44-59.

Malhotra, A., & Majchrzak, A. (2004). Enabling knowledge creation in far-flung teams: best practices for IT support and knowledge sharing. Journal of Knowledge Management8(4), 75-88.

Malhotra, A., Gosain, S., & El Sawy, O. A. (2005). Absorptive capacity configurations in supply chains: Gearing for partner-enabled market knowledge creation. MIS quarterly29(1), 145-187.

Malhotra, N., & Birks, D. (2007). Marketing Research: an applied approach: 3rd European Edition. Pearson education.

Ruigrok, W., & Wagner, H. (2003). Internationalization and performance: An organizational learning perspective. Management International Review, 43(1), 63-84.

Santoro, G., Vrontis, D., Thrassou, A., & Dezi, L. (2018). The Internet of Things: Building a knowledge management system for open innovation and knowledge management capacity. Technological Forecasting and Social Change136, 347-354.

Shaw, M. J., Subramaniam, C., Tan, G. W., & Welge, M. E. (2001). Knowledge management and data mining for marketing. Decision support systems, 31(1), 127-137.

Steenkamp, J. B. E. (2001). The role of national culture in international marketing research. International Marketing Review, 18(1), 30-44.

Tsai, M. T., & Shih, C. M. (2004). The impact of marketing knowledge among managers on marketing capabilities and business performance. International Journal of Management, 21(4), 524.

Vrontis, D., Thrassou, A., Santoro, G., & Papa, A. (2017). Ambidexterity, external knowledge and performance in knowledge-intensive firms. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 42(2), 374-388.

Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource‐based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 5(2), 171-180.

Zahra, S. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hitt, M. A. (2000). International expansion by new venture firms: International diversity, mode of market entry, technological learning, and performance. Academy of Management journal, 43(5), 925-950.

Zahra, S. A., Sapienza, H. J., & Davidsson, P. (2006). Entrepreneurship and dynamic capabilities: A review, model and research agenda. Journal of Management studies, 43(4), 917-955.