international strategic management
The chair in International Strategic Management recognises that strategy is a multi-disciplinary and holistic subject that requires specific attention to the relationships between the contexts and structures of business organisations. Thus, where possible, I take a systems view of strategy in order to capture the organisational complexity and dynamics.
The development and management of strategy in an international context is under the influence of globalisation which manifests itself as two main dynamic forces; (1) technological development and (2) the removal of national borders. Thus developments in communications, transportation, infrastructure, trade blocks, and multilateral trade agreements have been primarily responsible for the shift of personal, professional, social, economic and ecological relationships from a local scale to a global scale.
This change in the business context from local to global has significant strategic implications for technology and product development, the competition for resources and customers, the development of capabilities, the optimisation of supply/value chains and the building of networks. These are the central issues in contemporary international strategy which I try to address in my research and teaching.
My approach to the disciplines of strategy development and strategic management reflects a clear distinction I make according to the following areas:
Strategic Analysis (the application of strategy concepts in order to understand the firm and its context)
Strategy Creation (invention, innovation, creativity and inspiration in strategy – doing something different, the essence of strategy)
Strategy Formulation (strategic planning, budgeting, value analysis, the application of generic strategies if appropriate)
Strategy Implementation (doing it! strategic decision making, management practice, organisational change, structures, processes, operations, action plans)
My experience shows that strategy teaching and research tends to concentrate on analysis and formulation, at the expense of creation and implementation. There is also a tendency to base formulation on analysis at the expense of creation. Creation is important because it is THE basis for competitive advantage. Simply moving from analysis to formulation generally results in a me-too/copy-cat strategy. In essence, good strategy is not about playing a superior game, but about changing the rules.