THE INTERNATIONALIZATION PROCESS OF THE SALES OPERATIONS OF THE PRODUCTS OF A SANITARY WARE INDUSTRY
Internationalization consists of extending an organization's operations abroad. It involves decisions based on objective criteria and on an evaluation of strategies for entering the foreign market. The problem addressed in this study concerns a Brazilian firm’s difficulties developing its operations abroad. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify the internationalization process of an industry in the sanitary ware segment in the development of its operations in another country. The research method employed was the single case study and data was collected by means of a semi-structured research script applied to company executives. The results showed that the internationalization process is characterized by the dynamic learning model (Uppsala Model), according to which an organization develops its activities abroad gradually, as it acquires experience and expertise in the market. The company is attempting to overcome cultural barriers and psychic distance in a slow internationalization process, aligned with the differentiation strategy and focus that it uses in the Brazilian market. This strategy comprises a sequence of planned and deliberate steps, with low investment exposure and risk. It was found that the firm adopts a strategy of exporting through distributors, this being a critical success factor, but that the distributor approval and development process lacks robust and formalized structuring. There are opportunities for improvement in the process of competitive intelligence in order to systematize the search and interpretation of information about the markets in which the company wants to operate.
Key-words: Internationalization of companies. Uppsala Model. Strategy. Competitive intelligence.
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