Globalization and marketing strategy implications : a case study of Zimbabwe's clothing and textile sector.
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Within the discourse of trade liberalization, the extant literature tends to ‘idolize’ globalization rather than vilifying it. There is much and sometimes contradictory research findings on the broader impact of the phenomenon particularly on developing economies. A knowledge vacuum exists on how organizations should react to changes in market competition generated by globalization. Indeed in many ways, the literature on marketing strategy tends to focus mainly on the internal controllable variables; describing how these variables must be ‘mixed’ together in pursuance of organizational objectives. This narrow description leaves companies hugely exposed to the undefined external factors which unfortunately have become even more forceful in the current age of globalization. This research rethinks sustainable marketing strategies to guarantee the future of the clothing and textile sector in Zimbabwe in the global marketplace. The study provides an important research contribution through empirically linking two distinct concepts; globalization and marketing strategy from two diverse streams of literature to extend the boundaries of current knowledge. A mixed research methodology was adopted in order to improve the validity and reliability of the research results through offsetting the weaknesses of one method with the strengths of the other. Using a two-stage cluster sampling technique, data was collected from 127 respondents drawn from stakeholders in the clothing and textile sector. After carefully entering and cleaning the data, results were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. The results from a Categorical Principal Component Analysis using SPSS and qualitative discourse analysis positively support the five research hypotheses formulated. However, further analysis using a Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique confirmed the effect of only three hypothesized constructs on the outcome variable. Confirmed results were supported at 5% level of significance. Based on the results of this research, it is clear that moving marketing and marketers towards sustainability is going to require a range of new ideas and new tools based on a critical understanding of the broader market. In this context, robust national policies must be effectively used in tandem with marketing strategy in order serve the clothing and textiles companies in many African countries from total collapse. This research contributes by extending the concept of sustainable marketing strategy through incorporating critical external factors in the definition of the concept. Furthermore, literature on business strategy and the quest to achieve competitiveness has so far been largely influenced by Porter’s Five Forces Model. While the usefulness of the model is not in doubt nor in question, its renewal is indeed long overdue considering the impact of globalization and its effect on business strategy and competitiveness in the current age. The study makes several recommendations, among them, that companies should craft competitive marketing strategies which take a global stance and incorporate internal company capabilities, technology and recognize the role of national policy in the globalization discourse. Based on the strength of these findings, the study proposes the application and use of the Contemporary Model for Competitive Advantage (CMCA) as tool to propel companies into a bright future alongside globalization.