International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities. 3. Strategy in International Business. Strategy is a plan of action that channels an organization's resources so that it can effectively differentiate itself from competitors and accomplish unique and viable goals. Strategy in an international context is a plan for the organization to position itself vs. its competitors, and resolve how it wants to configure its value chain activities on a global scale. Firms that aspire to b30416
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1. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 1 International Business Strategy, Management & the New Realities by Cavusgil, Knight and Riesenberger Chapter 11
Global Strategy and Organization
3. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 3 Strategy in International Business Strategy is a plan of action that channels an organization’s resources so that it can effectively differentiate itself from competitors and accomplish unique and viable goals.
Strategy in an international context is a plan for the organization to position itself vs. its competitors, and resolve how it wants to configure its value chain activities on a global scale.
Firms that aspire to become globally competitive enterprises must seek simultaneously three strategic objectives – efficiency, flexibility, and learning.
Many U.S. MNEs are skillful at achieving efficiency via scale economies, but difficult to adapt themselves to cultural and political diversity.
4. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 4 Multi-Domestic and Global Industries Multi-domestic industries – Industries in which competition takes place on a country-by-country basis.
Food and beverage, consumer products, and clothing and fashion industries.
Each country tends to have a unique set of competitors.
Global industries – Competition on a regional or worldwide scale.
Aerospace, automobiles, metals, computers, telecom, chemicals, and industrial equipment.
A handful of major players that compete in multiple markets, e.g., Kodak, Fuji and Agfa-Gevaert, American Standard and Toto, Caterpillar and Komatsu
Formulating and implementing strategy is more critical for global industries than multi-domestic industries.
5. GM’s Global Brand Hierarchy
6. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 6 Integration-Responsiveness (IR) Framework IR framework: To achieve the dual objectives of global integration and local responsiveness.
Global integration means coordinating the firm’s value chain activities across many markets to achieve worldwide efficiency and synergy to take advantage of similarities across countries.
Seeking economic efficiency on a worldwide scale, promoting learning and cross-fertilization within the global network.
More likely be emphasized by firms in aircraft manufacturing, credit cards, and pharmaceuticals.
Pressures: Economies of scale; converging consumer trends and universal needs; uniform service to global customers; global sourcing of raw materials, components, energy, and labor; global competitors; availability of media.
7. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 7 IR Framework Local responsiveness: Meeting the specific needs of buyers in individual countries.
Adapting to customer needs, the competitive environment, and the distribution structure.
Local managers enjoy substantial freedom to adjust the firm’s practices to suit distinctive local conditions.
Companies in such industries as food and beverages, retailing, and book publishing are likely to be responsive to local differences.
Pressures: Unique resources and capabilities available to the firm; diversity of local customer needs; differences in distribution channels; local competition; cultural differences; host government requirements and regulations.
10. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 10 1. Home Replication Strategy Also called export strategy or international strategy.
The firm views international business (IB) as separate from, and secondary to, its domestic business.
IB is regarded as an opportunity to generate incremental sales for domestic product lines.
Products are designed with domestic customers in mind, and IB is sought as a way of extending the product lifecycle and replicating its home market success.
The firm expects little knowledge flows from foreign operations.
11. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 11 2. Multidomestic Strategy Also called multilocal strategy: An MNE delegates considerable autonomy to each country manager.
Subsidiaries are allowed to operate independently and carefully adapt products and services to suit the unique needs of each country.
Country managers tend to be highly independent entrepreneurs and have little incentive to share knowledge and experiences with managers elsewhere.
An easy option for firms with limited international experience as they can delegate many tasks to their country managers.
May lead to inefficient manufacturing, redundant operations, and generally higher costs of international operations than other strategies.
12. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 12 3. Global Strategy Seeks substantial control over its country operations in an effort to minimize redundancy, and achieve maximum efficiency, learning, integration worldwide, and greater central coordination and control, with various product or business managers having worldwide responsibility.
Activities such as R&D and manufacturing are centralized at headquarters, and management tends to view the world as one large marketplace.
Greater capability to respond to worldwide opportunities and economies of scale.
It is challenging for management since the firm must maintain ongoing communication between headquarters and the subsidiaries, as well as among the subsidiaries.
13. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 13 4. Transnational Strategy A coordinated approach to internationalization in which the firm strives to be more responsive to local needs while retaining sufficient central control of operations to ensure efficiency and learning.
It combines the major advantages of multi-domestic and global strategies, while minimizing their disadvantages.
It implies a flexible approach: standardize where feasible; adapt where appropriate.
It requires planning, resource allocation, and uniform policies on a global basis.
Examples: IKEA, P&G, Dow Chemical, and Oracle
Some 90% of IKEA’s product line is identical, but it does modify some of its furniture offerings.
IKEA’s overall marketing plan is centrally developed, but it is implemented with local adjustments.
14. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 14 Organizational Structure The reporting relationships inside the firm that specify the linkages between people, functions, and processes.
A fundamental issue is how much decision-making responsibility the firm should retain at headquarters and how much it should delegate to foreign subsidiaries and affiliates: Choice between centralization and decentralization, which should serve the firm’s strategy.
A centralized structure fits best with the home replication or global strategy.
A decentralized structure fits best with the multi-domestic strategy.
A matrix structure which combines centralized and decentralized aspects fits best with the transnational strategy.
15. An MNE Network
17. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 17 Organizational Arrangements for IB “Structure follows strategy”.
The organizational design is largely the result of how important managers consider IB and whether they prefer centralized or decentralized decision-making; it is also affected by the firm’s IB experience.
It tends to follow an evolutionary pattern – As the firm’s international involvement increases, it adopts increasingly more complex organizational designs.
Major alternative structures:
Export department or international division
Decentralized structure (geographic area division)
Centralized structure (product or functional division)
Global matrix structure
23. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 23 Global Matrix Structure An attempt to capture the benefits of the geographic area, product, and functional organization structures simultaneously, while minimizing their shortcomings.
This structure requires managers to think and operate along typically two of the three major dimensions: geography, product, and function (cross-functional).
To implement the matrix approach, the firm develops a dual reporting system in which, an employee in a foreign subsidiary may report on an equal basis to two managers: the local subsidiary general manager and a corporate product division manager.
The firm must simultaneously possess the ability to: (1) develop worldwide coordination and control; (2) respond to local needs; and (3) maximize inter-organizational learning and knowledge-sharing.
24. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 24 Global Matrix Structure It represents relatively new thinking. How successfully firms are able to implement and maintain the approach for long-term global success remains to be seen.
Unilever: An example of building a global matrix structure:
Earlier, the decentralized structure had produced much duplication and countless obstacles to applying a more efficient, global approach.
A massive reorganization plan was designed to centralize authority and implement a global culture. It divested hundreds of businesses and discontinued 1,200 brands.
Today, Unilever has about 400 brands. New products are developed using global teams that emphasize the commonalities among major country markets. Local managers are not allowed to tinker with packaging, formulation, or advertising of global brands.
25. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 25
26. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 26 Building the Global Firm Truly global companies manage to achieve:
Visionary leadership: Senior human capital in an organization that provides the strategic guidance necessary to manage efficiency, flexibility, and learning.
Global mindset and cosmopolitan values, willingness to commit resources, global strategic vision, and willingness to invest in human assets:
Appropriate organizational structure
Strong organizational culture: The ‘personality’ of the firm.
Dynamic organizational processes
28. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 28 Common Organizational Processes to Achieve Global Coordination Global teams: An internationally distributed group of people with a specific mandate to make or implement decisions that are international in scope. A global team is charged with problem-solving and best practice development within the MNE and brings together employees with the experience, knowledge, and skills to resolve common challenges.
Global information systems: Global IT infrastructure, together with tools such as intranets and electronic data interchange, that provide the means for virtual interconnectedness within the global company.
Global talent pools: A database of skilled individuals within the firm available to all subsidiaries on the corporate intranet.
29. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 29 Organizational Change: A Multidimensional Undertaking Success in international markets is not based on a single prescription or formula but a multidimensional and coherent set of actions.
These include: participating in all major markets in the world, standardizing product and marketing programs wherever feasible, taking integrated, competitive moves across the country markets, concentrating value-adding activities at strategic locations across the world, and coordinating the value-chain activities to exploit the synergies of multinational operations.
Superior global performance will result if all the dimensions of a global strategy are aligned with external industry globalization forces and internal organizational resources.
30. International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities 30 Organizational Change: Focus and Employee Commitment are Essential How should senior leaders proceed? Where does one start? With processes? Structure? Organizational culture?
Rapid and highly ambitious efforts to transform an organization may fail. It is best to focus on only one or two dimensions at a time, tackling the most easily changed dimensions of the organization first.
Transforming into a truly global company can take years – many obstacles and uncertainty. Management needs to instill a sense of urgency to drive the organization toward the desired changes.
Equally important is the “buy-in’ from the employees for implementation -- securing wholehearted participation of key groups towards common organizational goals.