Research group leader
- India – Research on Cultural Encounters and Representations at Linnaeus University News
- Exclude me not: the untold story of immigrant entrepreneurs in Sweden News
- Understanding consumers' perceptions of sustainable consumption News
- How does market knowledge drive mode of foreign subsidiary establishment at market entry and post entry? News
- Anders Pehrsson to The 43nd Annual Conference of the European International Business Academy News
- Seminar on international firms' strategic orientation in foreign markets News
- Anders Pehrsson to The Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences News
- Special Issue Call for Papers from European Business Review News
- International firms’ strategic orientation in foreign markets News
- Åsa Devine and Michaela Sandell to the Annual Conference of Strategic Management Society News
- Linnaeus Palme Grants for Teacher and Student Mobility News
- Timurs Umans to the 77th Academy of Management Annual Meeting News
- Anders Pehrsson to the 2017 EURAM Conference News
- Current: Research seminars and papers News
- Papers accepted for upcoming conferences News
- Research projects on innovation and sustainability in the tourism sector News
- STINT Initiation Grants News
- International Firms’ Market Orientation and Use of Knowledge: Implications for Market Information Systems News
Our research profile
The international strategy studies of our group consistently follow the research which has taken place at the School of Business and Economics since year 2000. The potential for research of a very high international standard is realized through the establishment of a unique profile and organized collaboration among researchers.
The research group focuses on the topic of firms' international strategies in any markets, and synergies are thereby achieved. In other words, the unique profile means a focused theory range and a broad empirical range.
Research projects results in articles that may include literature reviews, conceptual developments, and empirical analyses. Any type of firm may be studied no matter the firm size or other characteristics. Flexibility also goes for the type of market studied which may include, for example, a global market, a region, or certain countries. Furthermore, a study may pay attention to a particular industry, or different industries. Any type of empirical analysis may be used such as case analyses, or statistical tests of varying character.
The international strategy field
The domain of international strategy includes cross-border activities of firms and processes behind the activities. Managerial decisions that contribute to the sustainability of a corporate international strategy are effective over long periods of time and influence the firm in many ways. When an international strategy has been formulated it needs to be implemented, and the strategy may also be revised as a result of accumulated experiences. The process of implementing the strategy needs to be governed through effective corporate governance procedures. This also goes for the content of the strategy itself (Umans and Smith, 2013).
Our studies on international strategy rest on a solid strategic management theory base. The initial development of strategy concepts occurred in both practically oriented management literature (Drucker, 1954), and research (Chandler, 1962, Andrews, 1965, Ansoff, 1965). Since the early days the field has expanded extensively. Yet, there are skepticists claiming that the field of strategic management is fragmented and suffers from weak coherence (Nag, Hambrick, and Chen, 2007). However, after having conducted a large-scale survey of contributions of strategic management scholars Nag et al. derive an implicit definition of the field and conclude:
"This skepticism, however, is paradoxically at odds with the great success that strategic management has enjoyed. Our findings suggest that strategic management's success as a field emerges from an underlying consensus that enables it to attract multiple perspectives, while still maintaining its coherent distinctiveness." (Nag, Hambrick, and Chen, 2007, p. 935)
Thus, the consensus-based definition of Nag et al. says that the field of strategic management deals with the major intended and emergent initiatives taken by general managers on behalf of owners, involving utilization of resources, to enhance the performance of firms in their external environments. Based on the definition it is important to note that: (a) major business initiatives may include, for example, market entry, innovations, market responsiveness, acquisitions, and market exit, (b) a strategy may not only be represented by an explicit intention for the future, but also by initiatives that emerge over time without any prior explicit intentions, (c) in the course of formulating a strategy, resources and environmental factors are assessed, (d) relationships between strategy and performance are crucial, not least because the establishment of such linkages makes it possible to put forward management advice, and (e) influential actors such as general managers and owners are involved in strategy-making.
Bettis et al. (2014) particularly add that time is an important aspect of strategy. Reasons being that dynamism generally is an essential feature of strategic management. For example, competition and competitive advantages are frequently dynamic in nature and, therefore, firms need to pay attention to the importance of developing dynamic strategies that change over time. In research a major corresponding task is to model path dependencies that incorporate chains of causes and effects. Such models may, for example, include experiences, learning, and performance.
The accepted view means that a corporate international strategy concerns the whole corporation without specification of any foreign market. Thus, a corporate international strategy underscores the international area in which the firm will compete by focusing on resources that may be applied to convert competence into competitive advantage. In particular, the international domain is an essential feature of research on international diversification (Hitt et al., 2016) which pays attention to the timing and speed of entering international markets.
On the other hand, a foreign market strategy essentially defines the choice of a product or a service relevant to the particular market, and relatedness with other foreign units that enable exploitation of competencies across the corporation (Pehrsson, 2006). A foreign market strategy, thus, is usually considered to be a determination of how a firm will compete in the market and position itself relative to competitors.
Tallman and Pedersen (2015) clarify characteristics of international strategy research:
"However, in international strategy research, the key is not just to use the international dimension as the context of study, but to make the international dimension a key aspect of the study. The basic claim is that the international dimension is not just a matter of degree, but that it changes the nature of many of the activities we scrutinize." (Tallman and Pedersen, 2015, p. 273)
Issues involved in a firm's international strategy are frequently more problematic than issues of a local strategy. Major reasons are that the former usually incorporates not just varying distances and risks, but also potentially fruitful business opportunities stemming from a diverging set of customer preferences and competitive dynamics (Pehrsson, 2012). Hence, international strategy may be influenced by changes emanating from the international environment in terms of, for example, institutional settings, and international and local competitors and customers.
Tallman and Pedersen also add that studies comparing firms' activities across country borders are central to international strategy studies. Such studies may focus on comparisons of strategies of firms operating in different countries. However, no matter whether a study incorporates comparisons or not, institutional complexity, business sustainability, and international new ventures belong to topics that recently have received attention in literature (Hitt et al., 2016).
Andrews, K. (1965). Business Policy: Texts and Cases. Irwin: Homewood, Ill.
Ansoff, I. (1965). Corporate Strategy. McGraw-Hill: New York.
Bettis, R.A., Gambardella, A., Helfat, C., Mitchell, W. (2014). Theory in strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 35, pp. 1411–1413.
Chandler, A. (1962). Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of American Enterprise. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.
Drucker, P. (1954). The Practice of Management. Harper and Row: New York.
Hitt, M.A., Li, D., Xu, K. (2016). International strategy: from local to global and beyond. Journal of World Business, Vol. 51, pp. 58–73.
Nag, R., Hambrick, D.C., Chen, M.J. (2007). What is strategic management really? Inductive derivation of a consensus definition of the field. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 28, pp. 935-955.
Pehrsson, A. (2006). Business relatedness and performance: a study of managerial perceptions. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 27, pp. 265-282.
Pehrsson, A. (2012). Competition barriers and strategy moderations: impact on foreign subsidiary performance. Global Strategy Journal, Vol. 2, pp. 137-152.
Tallman, S., Pedersen, T. (2015). What is international strategy research and what is not? Global Strategy Journal, Vol. 5, pp. 273-277.
Umans, T., Smith, E. (2013). Isolated islands in the upper apex of organisations: in search of interaction between the board of directors and the top management team. Corporate Ownership & Control, Vol. 10, pp. 80-90.
The international strategy community
The following links will guide you to some important communities in the international strategy field.
Strategic Management Society: strategicmanagement.net
Academy of Management: aom.org
Academy of International Business: aib.msu.edu
European Academy of Management: euram-online.org
European International Business Academy: eiba.org