15.220 | Spring 2012 | Graduate

Global Strategy and Organization


Many of the class sessions are each built around a business case study, with the decisions and situations encountered by the featured company as a driver of in-class discussion. Guiding questions for analyzing each of the cases as well as supporting material are provided in the Readings section.


Going “Global” and Being “Global”: To be global or not to be global—is that one question?

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how globalization and its changing wave impact product markets, business models, companies and management—and why such impact has been mounting and changing over time.
  2. Unscramble “global” and decode expressions such as “international,” “multinational,” “transnational,” etc.
  3. Identify levels of analysis in geography (world / region / country / site) and in business (industry / company / local unit).
  4. Delineate the concepts and specificities of “global strategy” and the relevance of time with the separate consideration of “internationalization strategy.”


The Advantage of Internationalization: Why go “against a sea of troubles”?

Learning Objectives

  1. Analyze how internationalization enables companies to increase their value propositions and understand the nature of such benefits.
  2. Learn how to evaluate potential internationalization strategies.
  3. Anticipate the organizational and individual challenges of internationalization.


Exploiting Home-Based Advantage: Is it easier when you have a paragon at home?

Learning Objectives

  1. Analyze how internationalization enables companies to exploit home-based advantage and appreciate the nature of such advantage.
  2. Identify when a country or a cluster is the optimal place in the world for a given business or industry.
  3. Design an internationalization strategy based on home-based advantage.


Augmenting Home-Based Advantage: When do foreign CATs improve home RATs?

Learning Objectives

  1. Analyze how internationalization enables firms to enhance their home-based advantage.
  2. Understand the resource-based view to explain internationalization.
  3. Apply Lessard’s “RATs test” and “CATs test” to identify and evaluate internationalization strategies.
  4. Analyze the desirability and difficulty of building and exploiting a “virtual diamond”.


Building Metanational Advantage: To be national or not to be national—is that the question?

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how companies can build global advantage by melding knowledge that is dispersed around the world.
  2. Appreciate the different nature of metanational advantage relative to straight or augmented home-base advantage—especially in the case of “global startups”.
  3. Learn the organizational capabilities to build metanational advantage and the significant challenges posed by such endeavor.

Part II: Relating Strategy and Organization

Between a Global Business and a Global Company: Exporter or multinational—is that an option?

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize how globalization and information and communication technologies have opened up the possibilities for global business so that even a local company must contemplate a global strategy.
  2. Analyze different global business models (such as pure exporter, global business network, international alliance, or multinational company).
  3. Consider the specific challenges of “going global” from an emergent market—and the specific challenges for developed market multinationals to compete with emerging market multinationals.


Global Integration and National Responsiveness: Global and local—is that an imperative?

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn about the “Integration/Responsiveness” framework and the infamous “Think Global, Act Local.” Distinguish between “integration” and “aggregation.”
  2. Understand how global integration impacts performance.
  3. Understand how local rootedness and local adaptation impact performance.
  4. Realize the managerial and organizational challenges posed by global integration and by national responsiveness.

IBM in Canada

Local Adaptation: Can you weld uniformity in different places?

Learning Objectives

  1. Realize how the local environment shapes business and organizational choices.
  2. Appreciate the complexity of local adaptation and how it is not just about products, prices or business models but also about organization.
  3. Learn about traditional “localization” and how it has changed with globalization.
  4. Understand the roles of local managers and of expatriates in local adaptation.


Global Strategy and Knowledge Management: How do you spread it all over the world?

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the growth and challenges of sharing “best-practices” and of “global knowledge management” in multinational companies.
  2. Learn about contemporary strategies and tools for knowledge management in multinational companies while realizing the pros and cons of technology-mediated communication.
  3. Analyze the relationship between knowledge management and global strategy.


Global Delivery: Why bother?

Learning Objectives

  1. Appreciate why there are relatively few multinationals in services.
  2. Realize the peculiarities of global strategy and organization for services or solution providers (in particular, the differences between “global supply chains” and “global delivery chains”).
  3. Understand the emergence and impact of “global customers”.
  4. Consider the specific challenges and implications of “going global” from an emergent market as a solutions provider.


Global Innovation: Local Innovation—seriously?

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand why R&D and innovation has been mostly a local process, namely at home, even in the largest globally dispersed companies—and why this is changing rapidly in several businesses.
  2. Recognize the “supply-side” and the “demand-side” of innovations and the differentiated roles of country units in innovation processes in a multinational company.
  3. Analyze the particular value and costs of “global innovation” for incremental innovations and for breakthrough innovations.
  4. Understand the strategic value of innovations for the “bottom-of-the-pyramid”.

GE Healthcare

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2012
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments