Strategy development in globalising markets : the case of Norwegian small and medium sized firms
This study develops and tests a model, the "Nine Strategic Windows". This is a matrix accounting for the company's global environment and its ability to respond to this environment. The purpose of the model is to aid company management in its search for strategic direction in international markets. The model is tested through 22 case studies of Norwegian SMBs and small and medium sized SBUs of larger concerns in two industries: ship equipment and construction deemed to be located at different positions in the model. The main conclusions are: - It is indeed possible for SMBs to operate successfully in globalising markets, although SBUs seem to be more prone to succeed. - In a multilocal market environment companies tend to consolidate their operations. In potentially global markets companies take a more expansionnist stance partly to counter competitive pressure partly to capitalise on market opportunities offered. In global markets companies tend to seek strategic alliances, by finding either a financial partner or a partner offering marketing networks. The model endeavours to capture both the competitive and the learning aspects of international strategy development, and concludes with a normative strategy recommendation based on the lessons learnt from both the internationalisation school and the "global management school". The "Nine Strategic Windows" distinguishes itself from other models (for instance those of Nordstrèom and Vahine, 1985; Johanson and Mattson, 1986; Porter, 1986; Rugman and Verbeke, 1993) in that it not only classifies companies in different strategic positions, but actually endeavours to identify the main the strategic thrusts of the same companies. Another important feature is that the model encompasses the situation of small to medium sized firms operating in globalising markets. The fate of this category of firms has previously not been the object of study relative to global or globalising markets.