This means that the marketing and management, amongst various others, strategies they deploy address regional and local markets and not the global one per se. Within the context of the stated, and as affirmed by Stevens and Bird (2004) multinational firms perceive of the global market as a series of interconnected local and regional markets and, hence, pursue strategies which are consistent with this perspective. Hence, despite their popularly being referred to as multinational, global firms justifiably pursue inherently regional strategies.
The pursuit of regional vs. global strategies is partially determined by the imperatives of balancing between globalisation and localisation. There are intense, contradictory pressures on multinational enterprises to integrate across borders as well as to respond to local pressures; that means, to pursue local strategies which address the domestic/local market and global strategies which target the international market. Indeed, were multinational firms to eschew the imperatives of adaptation to the local market and the design of strategies which address its characteristics, they would probably be perceived of as an alien entrant into the market, thereby arousing consumer resistance (Reed, 1997; Rugman, 2001). Were they, however, to pursue local/domestic or regional strategies, they would be perceived of as part of the market in question, thereby offsetting the potential for consumer resistance. In other words, and as Rugman (2001) emphasises, the success of multinational firms is partially predicated on market perceptions of them as belonging to and understanding of the market in question, entailing the design of strategies which are consistent with the micro-environment. International strategies are inconsistent with the very notion of the micro-environment while regional strategies are (Roth and Morrison, 1990; Rugman, 2001). It is for this reason that multinational firms adhere to regional, as opposed to international strategies.
It is important to emphasise that corporations are embracing the basic principles of globalization, as evidenced by ever increasing cross-border trade and the widening grip of MNEs on international business. It is doing so, however, within the context of regionalization. Trade laws and enthusiasm for globalisation aside, the fact is that while markets are interconnected, there is no international homogeneity of consumer tastes and market characteristics. Safarian (2003), arguing for market interconnectedness but against homogeneity, maintains that the reality of globalisation is pockets of globalisation. This means that globalisation, as in market homogeneity and interconnectedness, is only valid and present on the regional level. There is no such homogeneity, although there is interconnectedness, on the global/international level. The implication here is, as may be inferred from several scholars, is that there is simply no basis for the formulation and implementation of global market and marketing strategies. The global market, as in the homogeneous and interconnected one, simply does not exist (Sheth, 2001; Safarian, 2003; Rugman, 2005; Dicken, 2007). From this perspective, therefore, firms cannot pursue international/global strategies and, indeed, have no choice but to adhere to regional ones within the contex