Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of different learning sources in the process of capability building of Chinese firms (CFs) approaching international markets. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on the case study of the company “Goodbaby.” The primary data sources are two semi-structured interviews with one of the firm’s managers, which have been triangulated with point of sale visits, interviews with industry experts, and secondary data such as corporate records, patent and trademark data, industry reports and news articles. Findings: Both the home-country and foreign markets act as sources of learning to support the development of CFs’ marketing capabilities. Learning at home is triggered by the complexity of the national market and the exposure to foreign entrants. Foreign learning is stimulated by the relationships with leading foreign partners and the exposure to advanced final markets. Moreover, each learning source has a positive effect on the development of CFs’ marketing capabilities in both market contexts in which they compete, i.e. the home-market and international markets. Practical implications: CFs’ managers should be simultaneously receptive to the domestic and foreign contexts, as both may support the development of marketing capabilities. CFs’ managers should recognize the learning opportunities embedded in each of these contexts, and identify the markets where these can be effectively redeployed. Originality/value: The authors distinguish between different sources of learning in the context of CFs’ internationalization, and explore their triggering factors and their role in the development of an underinvestigated type of capabilities, i.e. the marketing capabilities.
- Business and International Management
- Business, Management and Accounting (all)
- Chinese firms
- Chinese multinational firms
- Emerging market multinationals
- International marketing