Summary and Conclusions
The range of business responses to the threats and opportunities in the international economy is expanding as rapidly as the global marketplace itself. As shown in table 7.1, each response is accompanied by important advantages and serious drawbacks.
The table does not show, however, the numerous linkages and interrelationships among the various options. For example, a direct investment in Mexico by an Asian firm may be part of a broader strategy for increasing exports to the United States. Cross-licensing a product among companies in different regional markets may be a preliminary step toward joint ownership within those areas. Long-term strategic alliances may be based on an array of earlier successful business relationships ranging from manufacturing subcontracting to technological cooperation.
The precise form of the interfirm relationship, including the interlinkages that may develop as the partnership develops over time, depends upon the specific strategies of the participating companies, as well as on the social, political, and institutional environment in which the firms find themselves. As we have attempted to show in this book, the factors and considerations a company must take into account are as complex as they are numerous.