Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Pam Scholder Ellen

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Diane Loch

Third Advisor

Dr. Sevgin Eroglu


Challenged by nominal revenue growth rates in their developed home markets, many MNCs are enticed to drive revenue growth through geographic expansion. Thus, for many firms, launching into emerging markets has become a key growth priority. Because international expansion and the marketing strategy guiding it is always challenging, organizational learning is key. However, researchers have yet to closely examine the relationship between organizational learning and marketing launchstrategy. This research seeks to address that gap. When firms enter new markets, the marketing mix framework represents a subset of decisions they must make. This study analyzes an MNC’s 4Ps (product, price, place, and promotion) through the lens of emergent strategy, exploring how an MNC’s marketing launch strategy in China emerges over time through knowledge acquisition. Using the case study method, this research examines how four types of knowledge acquisition—congenital, vicarious, experiential, grafting, and sensing and noticing—influence the firm’s marketing mix to emerge and change over time. A conceptual framework illustrates how each element of the marketing mix is realized or emerges through the four knowledge acquisition activities.