The Management of International Enterprises: A Socio-Political View

By Monir H. Tayeb | Go to book overview

6
Strategic Development

INTRODUCTION

Brooke (1996, p. 33) defines corporate strategy as ‘determining a sense of direction, a set of objectives, for a company and appropriate routes in order to achieve the objectives [which] … do not have to be articulated or committed to a carefully thought-out document’. Clearly, the commercial environment and the broader context within which a firm operates, as well as its internal core competencies, are an influential factor in such a fluid process. Further, corporate strategy and its development can be considered both with respect to the general issues which are relevant to most firms, and also those which concern a decision to expand beyond national boundaries and go international. These issues have of course received extensive attention by researchers writing within strategic management and international business disciplines, especially from the economics angle. Here the implications of sociocultural factors for strategic decisions are explored.


GOAL-SETTING

The most significant strategic decision that a company makes concerns its goals, which in most cases, especially in the private sector in capitalist economies, is to make profit. Many other objectives, such as growth, market share, competitive edge, innovation and so on are set to achieve the original goal. However, as we saw in Chapter 3, such a model of company goals is very limited and cannot fully explain a commercial firm's behaviour in this respect around the world.

The reason lies in part in the fact that there is more than one model of a capitalist political economic system, caused by the diversity of nation-specific socioeconomic institutions which underlie such a system (Crouch and Streeck, 1997). Dore's (1997, pp. 19–20) classification of the ways in which the nature of the private-sector business firm in capitalist societies is viewed is instructive. He distinguishes four positions in this regard: property view; entity/community view (two sub-versions); and arena view:

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