International Strategy: Issues and Considerations

Marcus Alexander, a director and Fellow of ASMC for 25 years, and an Adjunct Professor at London Business School, will be leading a seminar on International Strategy. We will look at the role of International Strategy within overall Corporate Strategy, and explore 6 broad topics of interest to managers and researchers. We will briefly review and apply some of the analytical tools that have been developed in this area by academics such as Bartlett, Doz, Ghemawat , Ghoshal, Harrel, Kiefer, Palepu, Porter, Prahalad, Williamson, and Yip. In particular, we will explore the organizational implications of pursuing different types of international strategy, and the challenges of implementing fundamental changes in approach.

Marcus is the author of various publications about the international dimensions of corporate-level strategy, including Global Parenting1, and When You Shouldn’t Go Global2, in the Harvard Business Review.

We will ask participants from each company in the room to identify in advance two questions or challenges that they are currently addressing in the area of International Strategy. During the different sessions in the seminar some time will be spent sharing these specific challenges and applying relevant concepts to them. We will also explore some of the different roles that are played by strategic planning functions in the area of International Strategy.

  1. This book chapter in Globalization: The External Pressures, ed. P.  Kirkbride, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, specifically focuses on the role of the corporate parent in International Strategy
  2. ‘When You Shouldn’t Go Global’, M. Alexander and H. Korine, Harvard Business Review, December 2008
09.30 Registration and coffee


Six issues in International Strategy
  1. Drivers of international business activity
  2. Linking industry context with international strategy issues
  3. Selecting international markets
  4. Locating Value Chain activities
  5. Relevant ownership structures and approaches
  6. Corporate management of international portfolios
10.30 Scenarios for international business activity and evolving industry context
Input, exercise and discussion
11.30 Break
11.45 Choosing international markets and activity locations
Input, exercise and discussion
12.45 Lunch
13.30 Decisions about ownership and partners
14.00 Managing International Portfolios
  1. Sources of corporate value creation and destruction
  2. Implications for organizational design
  3. Changing fundamental approach
15.30 Break
15.45 Roles of strategic planning functions and next steps for specific international strategy challenges
Input and discussion
16.45 Review (close at 17.00)