With the increasingly significant uncertainty of the international market environment, the traditional learning path of multinational enterprises is blocked, and they begin to pay attention to the non-market behavior of customer participation. However, there is still not sufficient theoretical explanation for how to learn and transform in the process of overseas customer participation. Based on this, this study starts from the perspective of learning transformation, selects four Chinese enterprises for multi-case analysis, and explores the learning transformation mechanism of Chinese enterprises under the context of uncertain engagement. The results show that: Firstly, enterprises’ perception of the dynamic degree of environmental uncertainty (the degree of abrupt change and gradual change) comes from their own “resource constraints” and “information constraints” respectively. When the perception of sudden change degree is high, the perception source of enterprise environmental uncertainty mainly focuses on “information constraints”, which is reflected in the obstruction of information acquisition, resulting in the fuzziness of environmental prediction. When the perception of gradual change degree is high, the perception source of enterprise environmental uncertainty mainly focuses on “resource constraints”, which is subject to the impact of limited strategic capabilities and key resources, increasing the difficulty of timely response to environmental changes. Secondly, the perception of environmental uncertainty affects the choice of overseas customer participation strategies of Chinese multinational enterprises, including dynamic participation and expected participation. The participation of overseas customers with high dynamics and low expectations can increase non-productive activities, maintain good customer relations, and reduce information asymmetry through timely communication. The participation of overseas customers with low dynamics and high expectations is helpful to understand the market regularly, so as to alleviate resource constraints and respond to market changes in time. Thirdly, in the process of overseas customer participation, enterprises can learn from different dimensions (cognitive dimension and behavioral dimension) to form a quick response mechanism to deal with environmental uncertainty. The external learning transformation of cognitive dimension mainly aims at the uncertainty perception of enterprises caused by information constraints, focusing on the acquisition and absorption of external information, so as to reduce the problem of information asymmetry in the context of environmental uncertainty. The internal learning transformation of behavioral dimension mainly aims at the uncertainty perception of enterprises caused by their own resource constraints, focusing on the internal behavior change of the organization, so as to enhance the complementarity of resources. The cross-level learning transformation of cognitive dimension and behavior dimension needs multiple circular learning to expand the internal ability of the organization in the process of external information acquisition. The research results expand the application of customer participation theory in the field of organizational learning in the context of environmental uncertainty, and can provide useful experience and theoretical guidance for Chinese multinational enterprises to deal with the pressure of uncertainty and formulate scientific non-market strategies.
Breaking the Learning Boundary: Learning Mechanism of Overseas Customer Participation in Crisis
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 44, Issue 01, pp. 3 - 15 (2022) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20210228.103
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Cite this article
Xu Hui, Wang Yajun, Shan Yu. Breaking the Learning Boundary: Learning Mechanism of Overseas Customer Participation in Crisis[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2022, 44(1): 3-15.