The Management of International Enterprises: A Socio-Political View

By Monir H. Tayeb | Go to book overview

3
Organisational Competencies as Launch Pads for Internationalisation

INTRODUCTION

As we have seen in the first two chapters, at the macro level there are various sociocultural, economic and political institutions which are responsible for the kind of policies and practices that a country develops and implements. These in turn make up the resource pool from which companies may draw, internalise and then utilise. In other words, it was argued, national competitiveness is a significant factor in a company's ability to internationalise and become a major global player. Even though some companies might develop such abilities in spite of their home countries, they might still be hindered by their home government's policies to put their abilities to international practical use. Reliance, India's largest private-sector firm, for example, has all the qualities of a world-class player and in a recent study of competitiveness has been ranked as the most competitive firm in India and among the top ten in Asia (The Economist, 25 July 1998, p. 84). But what has in fact prevented it from becoming a global player is certain government regulations regarding capital movement overseas (letter by Reliance's Chairman in Europe, The Economist, 15 August 1998, p. 8).

However, national competitiveness is not sufficient to make an international star out of every company. It is ultimately the internal qualities of the company, such as managerial competence, technological know-how, financial and human resources, which would give it the inner strength necessary to exploit the potentials provided for it by its home country to launch itself overseas into greener pastures. This ability to utilise what is available is an asset which constitutes a part of their advantage over their rivals. As Whittington (1990) points out, it is important to recognise the plural and potentially contradictory nature of social structures, and the capacity of actors to draw upon these structures selectively and creatively. It is therefore argued that political and sociocultural factors, as well as numerous others, have a crucial role to play here.

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