Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to operationalise the collaborative cross-border innovation process employed by multinational corporations in their effort to penetrate new markets. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on the case study of a leading European telecommunications group (OPERACOM). Methodologically it relies on 32 interviews, observation and secondary data analysis, and is theoretically founded on an extensive (mostly narrative and partly meta-synthetic) literature review. Findings: The findings show that two new activities merit inclusion in the collaborative cross-border innovation process: strategic marketing anticipation and pre-opportunity studies. In this context, three strategic marketing levers are elucidated: subsidiaries’ knowledge integration, communication/coordination mechanisms, and collaboration-governance; interrelating on the way the activities and elements comprising the breadth and depth of the process’ continuum. Research limitations/implications: These stem from and are inherent to the very nature of the research (case study), which proscribes generalisations. Additionally, the research’s long-term span subjects the results to some inevitable potential temporal distortions. Practical implications: The research findings, owing to their detailed and activity-specific disposition, constitute a case prototype towards further and/or corresponding application to organisations of this and/or other industries; presenting executives with an existing and market-tested positive paradigm of the innovation aspect of the collaborative market-entry mechanism. Originality/value: Carrying significant scholarly and executive value, the research substantially and specifically enhances the understanding of innovation as an integral part of the internationalisation process, describing and prescribing explicit processes and actions throughout the horizontal and vertical organisational axes.
- Collaborative cross-border innovation
- Foreign market entry
- Innovation process
- International marketing strategy
- Multi-country innovation