Purpose – This paper has two overall goals. The first is to serve as a broad overview of the literature on the subject theme, with three main objectives in mind: to highlight the complexities of international market selection or segmentation as a field of study and as a strategic decision by international firms; to explore the various ways and perspectives from which this area has been studied; and to suggest areas for future research by drawing on the preceding discussion. The second goal of the paper is to act as an introduction to the IMR special issue on the title theme, by outlining the special issue's objectives and the contributions to it. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the relevant literatures, the paper begins by outlining the factors that make the field complex in both theoretical and applied terms, moves to consider the research streams that comprise its main components, and concludes by drawing conclusions and implications for future research. Findings – A large part of the complexity characterizing this field arises from the fact that it is closely intertwined with the broader area of internationalization and a number of other decisions related to it, such as the “go/no-go” decision and the firm's choice of mode of entry. From the research perspective, theory development has been impeded by a high degree of fragmentation, which has resulted in various different streams studying the same general issues from widely different perspectives. Research limitations/implications – The paper identifies a large number of directions for potential future research, not the least of which is the need for integrative research that addresses the fragmentation identified in the study. Practical implications – Although this is primarily a theoretical paper directed at researchers, practitioners can gain useful insights from it by examining the various factors that have a bearing on their internationalization decisions. Originality/value – The objectives of the main part of the paper will have been met if it succeeds in stimulating interest in further research and discussion on the core issues. The second part summarizes the contributions to the special issue and draws attention to the main message that each aims to convey.

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International Marketing Review
Sprott School of Business

Papadopoulos, N, & Martín Martín, O. (Oscar). (2011). International market selection and segmentation: Perspectives and challenges. International Marketing Review, 28(2), 132–149. doi:10.1108/02651331111122632