Dear friends and colleagues,
We just published the fourth issue of Global Strategy Journal for 2022; it is available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/20425805/2022/12/4. This is the second of two special issues in which we celebrate the first decade of the journal. In them you will find articles by some of the thought leaders in global strategy and related fields discussing emerging global strategy topics.
In this second Decade Celebration issue we have another set of insightful papers explaining strategy in context. We open with two articles that explain how digital technologies influence global strategy. Furr, Ozcan, and Eisenhardt elucidate three key tensions in digital transformation: Products versus platforms, firms versus ecosystems, and people versus tools. Birkinshaw explains how the digital revolution has supported the emergence of born-digital firms and challenged traditional arguments.
These are followed by a set of studies discussing strategies within multinationals. Casson analyzes how to combine analyses of corporate strategy and market entry with analysis of internal organization. Teodorescu, Choudhury, and Khanna explain how subsidiaries of multinationals build contextual intelligence in the countries in which they operate. Buckley points to the increasing pressures on multinational companies from states, markets, and society at large.
We conclude with three studies that discuss new global strategy topics. Beamish and Hasse highlight the importance of rare events as a phenomenon to study and help advance global strategy research. Leiblein, Reuer, Larsen, and Pedersen provide a thoughtful discussion about the domain of global strategy. Verbeke and Yuan discuss how intrapreneurship unfolds in multinationals.
At the end of the special issue, we thank the referees of the special issue for their help providing useful suggestions for improvement.
These articles complement the ones published in the first Decade Celebration issue, which are available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/20425805/2022/12/3 and are listed at the end.
And if you are interested in reading future articles before they appear in an issue, you can find them here https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/20425805/0/0
Please continue sending your best work for consideration for publication.
Gabriel R. G. Benito, Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, and Ram Mudambi
Co-editors of Global Strategy Journal
Global Strategy Journal, Volume 12, Issue 4. Decade Celebration Special Issue II
Nathan Furr, Pinar Ozcan, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt
Digital transformation is a dominant theme in the global economy, but what it means for established companies remains perplexing for both academics and practitioners. As digital erases familiar geographic, industrial, and organizational boundaries, it has led to simplistic characterizations such as "digital changes everything." Yet while digital changes some things, others remain the same. Here, we identify three core tensions at the heart of digital transformation-products vs platforms, firms vs ecosystems, and people vs tools-and describe their underlying economics, driving forces, and countervailing forces. These tensions frame a concrete discussion of strategic alternatives for global companies. Overall, we emphasize that digital transformation is not an objective state, but rather a strategic choice by executives from an array of alternatives.
How has the emergence of born-digital firms such as Facebook and Uber influenced international business (IB) research? In this essay, I outline the distinctive qualities of these firms, in particular their "global by default" mindset, and I discuss how IB research on strategy, organization, and institutional context is evolving to help us understand them better. I argue that some traditional domains of inquiry (e.g., subsidiary role typologies) have become obsolete, while others (e.g., MNC–government relationships) have become more important. There is also scope for developing new theories to explain what we observe, rather than seeking to "shoehorn" new phenomena into our existing schemata.
International business strategy and international management are two distinct but related fields of study. This article explores the connections between them. It shows how internalization theory can act as a bridge between them. The key is to analyze not only core activities, such as production, marketing and R&D, but support services such as human resource management, information technology, and corporate finance. Internalization decisions and location decisions must be analyzed holistically, and diagrammatic techniques show how this can be done. These diagrams reveal the networks of communication and the hierarchical structures that emerge from such decisions.
Mike Horia Mihail Teodorescu, Prithwiraj Choudhury, Tarun Khanna
We respond to calls in the strategy and international business literature for elucidating how multinational subsidiaries develop contextual intelligence in host countries and how they use the local context as a source of valuable opportunities for learning. Applying the theoretical lens of subsidiary absorptive capacity and building on a gravity model, we propose an approach that can distinguish and compare the influences of the host country context and headquarters over the subsidiary knowledge production. Some subsidiaries may become global second headquarters and innovation hubs, as evidenced qualitatively in the paper with the case of Cisco. Essentially, subsidiaries, characterized by higher stocks of knowledge and greater number of locally hired employees are likely to absorb relatively more knowledge from the local host country context.
Peter J. Buckley, Roger Strange, Marcel P. Timmer, Gaaitzen J. de Vries
The argument of this article is that global strategy research should devote greater attention to rent appropriation in global value chains (GVCs). We discuss the concept of intangible assets, emphasize their scalability at low marginal cost and highlight strategies for the appropriation of rents from these assets. Returns captured by intangible assets are shown to be much greater than those captured by tangible assets in GVCs of manufactured products. Regions in the world are found to be specializing in different GVC stages, with China rising as a key location for rent generation in upstream and production activities. We conclude that the rents from intangible assets are major drivers of economic development and of corporate success and offer insights into rent appropriation trends in the future.
Paul W. Beamish, Vanessa C. Hasse
Michael J. Leiblein, Jeffrey J. Reuer, Marcus M. Larsen, Torben Pedersen
A robust academic field must set and revisit boundary conditions that define where, when, and to whom its insights apply. This is particularly true for a field such as global strategy where the ubiquity of the key terms invites indiscriminate use of the phrase. This essay argues that it is useful to define the field of global strategy as the subset of questions that meet the criteria for both "global" and "strategic" decisions. We offer an a priori approach to identifying and formulating problems that are unique to the global strategy field, suggest how our approach may help scholars better understand the "strategicness" of global decisions, and ultimately, offer a way for individuals with varied disciplinary or topical interests to connect with the field's core.
Alain Verbeke, Wenlong Yuan
We show significant variation in the ways mainstream international business strategy (IBS) theories have addressed the discovery and pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities in the established multinational enterprise (MNE). We adopt an extended "individual-opportunity nexus" perspective and suggest a fourfold repositioning of IBS research on MNE intrapreneurship. First, by acknowledging opportunities in activity types not historically considered as the subject of intrapreneurship, such as imposed resource reconfigurations as well as acquisitions and divestitures. Second, by paying more attention to how bundles of opportunities emerge over time, and to their sequence. Third, by recognizing more systematically different opportunity types, ranging from incremental to radical. Fourth, by analyzing more thoroughly the origins of opportunities, including those that arise from MNE weaknesses.
Global Strategy Journal, Volume 12, Issue 3. Decade Celebration Special Issue I
The future of global strategy
Gabriel R.G. Benito, Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, Ram Mudambi, Torben Pedersen, Steve Tallman
Harald Bathelt, Pengfei Li
Richard Florida, Patrick Adler
David J. Teece
Brian Ganson, Tony L. He, Witold J. Henisz
Navigating three vectors of power: Global strategy in a world of intense competition, aggressive nation states, and antagonistic civil society
Peter J. Buckley
Klaus E. Meyer, Chengguang Li
Christian Geisler Asmussen, Nicolai J. Foss