Global Issues in Strategic Management
What is strategic management? Global Strategy is just one part of the larger subject of Strategic Management. Typically in many strategic management textbooks, International and Global Strategy appears as one of the chapter alongside many others – for example, it’s chapter 19 in my book. Take the Blackberry RIM range of mobile phones. This Canadian company has been very successful, so far, in terms of its international and global strategy.
But it began by using the basic principles of strategic management – customer focus on the business customer, competitive advantage through its focus on the easy email access, resource-based analysis based on its patented technology – rather than anything specific to global strategy. But then Blackberry RIM added a global strategy – for example, its co-operation with the Reliance mobile network in India shown right – to add to the basic strategy. What this means is that many of the basic principles of Strategic Management – customer focus, competitive advantage, resource-based analysis, etc. are also fundamental to the development of International and Global Strategy. The purpose of this section of the website is therefore to offer a brief summary of some of the main elements. Clearly, it is not possible to cover all the material set out in an 800-page text. Here, we highlight some key areas and principles. First, we summarise the two main strategic processes – prescriptive and emergent – and mention some of the background theories that underpin them.
Second, we present video summaries of some selected chapters from my book StrategicManagement 5th Edition which explore the main areas in more depth. You may like to know that the four previous editions of the book were called Corporate Strategy: we changed the title for the fifth edition to reflect changes in strategy thinking since the publication of the first edition in 1997. Background to strategic management development In reality, strategic management is a relatively young subject.
It has its roots in the economic and social theories of the 1930s and 1940s – perhaps even earlier. But it only really began to emerge as a separate topic in the 1960s and 1970s. Even today, there is only partial agreeement on the fundamental principles of strategic management with many views, ideas and concepts. This makes the topic interesting and challenging. But it also means that there is no fully accepted body of knowledge unlike, for example, mechanical engineering or organic chemistry.
According to one recent authoritive survey amongst academic strategists (Nag et al,Strategic Management Journal, 2007, Vol 28, pages 935-955), there are two main streams of thought related to strategic process: prescriptive (or intended) strategic processes and emergent strategic processes. The authors produced the following definition from their survey over the period 1983-2004: ‘The field of strategic management deals with the major intended and emergent initiatives taken by general managers on behalf of owners, involving utilization of resources, to enhance the performance of firms in their external environments. ‘