Bartlett and Ghoshal’s Theory

Bartlett and Ghoshal’s Theory

Courses Info

Bartlett and Ghoshal’s international, multi-domestic, transnational and global strategies

What is the Bartlett & Ghoshal Theory?

This theory examines the different approaches to managing businesses that operate internationally. 

It highlights two key factors in choosing how to manage an international business: 

  1. The potential cost gains from being globally integrated (such as marketing, production or research economies of scale) 
  2. The pressures to respond to local market conditions.

Bartlett & Ghoshal – Diagram

AQA | Teaching guide: Bartlett and Ghoshal's international, multi ...


Local responsiveness – Business considerations

  • The company might have to consider the requirements of the local population 
  • The company will have have to consider the domestic competition it will face f of that country

Cost pressure – Business considerations

  • The business must consider the implications/costs on the business of differentiating its product or service in a variety of global markets. 
  • The business must consider if it will be able to use the same branding and marketing techniques and materials to be successful internationally.

Multi-domestic: Low Integration and High Responsiveness e.g. Pfizer & Nestle

  • Aims to meet the needs of the local market
  • Tailor products and services to suit local market
  • Low pressure for global integration
  • Decentralised structure 
  • Unique marketing and sales approach to each individual market
  • A good example would be Nestle and Pfizer

Global: High Integration and Low Responsiveness e.g. Pfizer

  • Global companies are the opposite of multi-domestic companies.
  • They offer the same product worldwide and have the 
  • Their goal is to maximize efficiencies in order to reduce costs as much as possible. 
  • Global companies are highly centralized 
  • All worldwide branches are very dependent on the headquarters.
  • A company example would be Pfizer.

Transnational: High Integration and High Responsiveness e.g. Unilever

  • A mix between both transnational and multidimensional. 
  • It will aim to respond both locally and gain benefits of integration.  
  • They will be independent but also integrated with their headquarters and strive to achieve the company’s global mission, aim and objective.
  • A great example of a transnational company is Unilever.

International: Low Integration and Low Responsiveness

  • This strategy was not originally in Bartlett & Ghoshal’s theory. This part of the theory was created by others.
  • This part of the theory believes there is little need for local adaptation and global integration.
  • The majority of the main activities will be maintained at the headquarter. 
  • This strategy is also often related to an exporting strategy. 
  • A good example would be large wine brands around the world.


What is the Bartlett & Ghoshal Theory? (2 marks)

Please draw the Bartlett & Ghoshal theory diagram? (4 marks)

Explain the multi-domestic strategy of the Bartlett & Ghoshal theory? (3 marks)

Explain the global strategy of the Bartlett & Ghoshal theory? (3 marks)

Explain the transnational strategy of the Bartlett & Ghoshal theory? (3 marks)

Explain the international strategy of the Bartlett & Ghoshal theory? (3 marks)

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