Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Globalisation and strategic groups : the case of the spirits industry
Author: Schwittay , Benedikt
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1999
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
With the increasing liberalisation and deregulation of world trade since the 1980s more and more industries have changed from fragmented and inward-looking into concentrated, outward-looking, international or global industries with only few surviving companies. 'Globalisation', 'global competition', 'global strategies' have become frequently discussed topics for managers and research themes for academics. Major weaknesses of current research are: first, a clear and uniform definition about globalisation and global strategies, second, a more holistic explanation about when, why and how industries and companies globalise and which factors put them at a competitive advantage towards one another and third, more precise suggestions and empirical results about the outcome of the globalisation process in terms of industry competition, the choice of corporate strategies and the resulting performance levels. Regarding the first weakness a new definition for globalisation based on industry concentration is proposed. Regarding the second weakness, the importance of national competitive advantage, strategic groups and strategic fit before and during the globalisation process as interrelated, mutually re-enforcing globalisation factors are pointed out. Apart from their triangular inter-relationship the thesis describes their changing (i.e. dynamic) character or level of significance during different periods of the globalisation process. Government intervention and history are proposed as two independent and decisive conditions of national competitive advantage apart from .Porter's (1990) 'Four diamonds'. A company's membership in a competitive, innovative strategic group and strategy imitation among strategic group members are the most important factors with regard to strategic groups. Regarding the third weakness, a model of globalisation is derived and tested empirically. As part of this model 'global winners' are defined as companies which build dominant market positions in a global industry through the launch of a global, vertically integrated strategy. The branded spirits industry is chosen as the context to explore the model by answering the following, four major research questions: 19 When, why and how did the spirits industry globalise ? Which were the most important factors for the world's top four spirits companies to s\lcceed globally? At which point in time did the world's top four spirits companies fulfill these global success factors? Did the pursuit of 'global strategies' result in significantly higher profit margins and market growth rates ? The study examines the globalisation of the branded spirits industry during the time period of 1982-1995 by focussing on the major industry players of the UK, the US and German spirits industry. In 1995 the major industry players included 6 UK, 5 US and 8 German spirits companies and represented 71.3 % of world market share in the branded spirits industry. In the UK, US and Germany, 47 interviews with senior executives were conducted including the filling out of a questionnaire. The interviews and archival data were the basis for the write-up of four company case studies whereas the questionnaire data and interviews were used for the analysis of the global success factors on a country-basis. Further, quantitative industry data was collected and ANOV A and cluster analysis were performed for a strategic group analysis. The findings of the study are that, first, the globalisation of the spirits industry in 1987 was triggered by the strategic moves and counter-moves of four industry players (IDV, UDG, Allied and Seagram). The pre-conditions for the globalisation of the spirits industry were an emerging global consumer taste, economies of scale and scope, market maturity and the general economic environment. Second, the three most important factors for the UK spirits companies IDV, UDG, Allied and the US-Canadian spirits company Seagram to emerge as the world's top four spirits companies (with a global market share of more than 50%) were strategic groups, 'strategic fit' and national competitive advantage. Regarding national competitive advantage, government intervention and history played a significantly more important role than three (,demand', 'factor' and 'related and supporting industries') out of Porter's 'Four diamonds'. Finally, no statistically significant relationships could be found between strategic group membership and higher profit margins/market growth rates. Similarly, the pursuit of global strategies did not result in significantly higher profit margins/ market growth rates.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available