international business

Culminating Essay – Strategies to fit Industry Environments

The final study guide question is on fitting strategies to environments as firm internationalize.   Your task is to choose a major, well-known firm and describe how it uses strategy to achieve its goals, to realize its mission in world business.  Write this more in essay form rather than answering specific questions.  In choosing a firm make sure you select one whose strategy is clearly identifiable as international (sometimes referred to as home replication), multinational (sometimes called multidomestic), global or transnational.  You may write about firms such as Ikea, McDonalds, Big oil companies (Mobil Exxon, ChevronTexaco, BP, etc.), Boeing, Lenovo, Coca-Cola, Kodak, Proctor and Gamble, Dow Chemical, Caterpillar, GE, or a major auto producer (such as GM, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, etc.). 

Just as strategic management is a multidimensional process that brings together all the functional areas of a firm and aligns their activities so that they are all working towards the same goals, so too can your essay draw from various chapters that explored relevant concepts such as the following:

  • The competitive advantage of nations (also called the Porter Diamond) which explained why firms from specific country environments was home to firms excelling internationally in specific industries that flourished in these environments (Chapter 9, specifically pages 266-267, 270, and 275-277;
  • Chapter five, specifically the material beginning on page 159 on strategizing HRM (matching people and skills to fit environments and strategic needs);
  • Chapter 13 of course, this week’s core topic, specifically the strategy sections and the Integration-Responsiveness framework
  • And the introduction to the e-text on pages 1-18 (pages 12-15 are particularly relevant but the whole introduction offers some good summaries of the four basic strategies, internationalization, the IR framework, and others.

So in your essay use the tools you have acquired to write well in APA style.   Use at least two relevant outside references on your firm and its strategy.  Make sure to clearly state what industry you have chosen for analysis.  Remember that many big firms are involved in more than one industry (Mitsubishi produces over 20,000 products and has involvements in many different industries.  Write about just one industry.  State clearly what product is involved in this industry.  Describe how the chosen strategy fits its environment.  A good essay might describe evolutionary movement from one strategy towards another to fit changing environments.  The integration-responsiveness framework can be used to describe four basic environments and suggest four fitting strategies. 

750 to 1000 words

APA style

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