UCL is delighted to welcome Pradeep Chintagunta, Chicago Booth, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Stimulating Marketing Strategy Innovation with Entrepreneurs in Uganda:Examining Impact of Remote International Coaching on Firm Sales’
This paper studies the impact of international coaching on the strategic marketing changes of emerging market entrepreneurs. It sheds light on three novel research questions: (1) What is the effect of remote business coaching on firm sales? (2) What is the mechanism by which international coaching stimulates improvements in sales if any? (3) Do entrepreneurs benefit more from coaching when they are less strategic in their decision-making? We conducted a randomized control trial with 930 entrepreneurs in Uganda to examine the impact of an international coaching intervention that connects management professionals in primarily advanced markets and entrepreneurs in emerging markets with the aim of improving business performance. The analysis finds a positive and significant main effect on firm sales – treated entrepreneurs increase monthly sales by 32.4% on average. In addition, entrepreneurs who receive international coaching are 63.3% more likely to have pivoted or shifted their marketing strategy in a new direction. And consistent with this mechanism of inducing strategic business changes, the results show that entrepreneurs who receive international coaching tend to do better when they (ex ante) lack strategic focus. These results have important implications for the development of marketing strategies by entrepreneurs and multinational managers, as well as for organizations interested in improving the performance of small firms in emerging markets and beyond.