Purpose: This paper aims to systematically examine the key notion of integration of non-market and market strategies in the increasingly popular study of corporate non-market strategies. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is based on a brief literature review of the non-market strategy (NMS) research that shows the existing literature does not offer a clear and systematic account of the key notion of integration. It suggests any systematic account of integration should address at least three interrelated questions, i.e. why, what and how to integrate non-market and market strategies? Findings: For the why question, the authors use a formal model to demonstrate that the essence of the most important type of integration synergy lies in the positive spillover or externality from non-market to market strategies. For the what question, the authors identify the contents of integration at three levels, i.e. the level of non-market environment analysis, the level of NMS choice, and the level of non-market dynamic interactions. For the how question, the authors argue that the combination of non-market and market strategies should be seamless in terms of horizontal, vertical and intentional coordination. Overall, the authors argue, only when the right contents are combined and seamlessly coordinated will there be high synergies from integration of non-market and market strategies. Practical implications: Managers are advised to give non-market strategies full attention. Managers charged with non-market tasks should explore how to seamlessly coordinate non-market and market strategies in order to gain maximal synergies. Originality/value: This paper is the first to examine the key notion of integration in a systematic manner. It is the first to propose a three-question solution to systematic understanding of the notion and the first to propose the seamless coordination concept and its associated three aspects of seamless coordination.
Nankai Business Review International, 2014, Vol 5, Issue 1, p. 115-132