Strategy creation and deployment in a global organization

Kirsikka Pohjala

Research output: ThesisLicenciate's thesis

Abstract

This study examines people involvement within the strategy process from a global - local perspective. The global - local strategy process was studied in four cases; production, distribution, installed base and development project. The theoretical part draws attention to the local actors' involvement in the global - local strategy process. That viewpoint has received relatively little attention in strategy process literature. The focus is on understanding how local differences are taken into account in the global strategy e.g. the business environment, the specific competences or expertise local actors may have. In literature, Schneider and Barsoux (1997) discuss strategies for managing cultural differences. In this study their framework is applied providing three perspectives to study strategy process within a global-local environment: ignoring, minimizing or utilizing the local differences in the global strategy. The strategy process is analyzed to identify and describe where strategy emanates from, by whom the strategy is deployed and how to successfully engage local actors to the global - local strategy process. The term "successfully" here means without failing to engage local actors to the global - local strategy process. The criteria for a successful engagement is that the local actor is able to impact the strategy creation and (or) strategy deployment at the local and (or) global level. To answer these questions, a combined participatory and a non-participatory research strategy using both deductive and inductive qualitative case study approaches was conducted. Interviews, archival data and observations were used as the main data collection methods. The analysis revealed that the best way to facilitate the strategy success within a global - local environment is to compile an approach to fit the different business conditions. The study analysis indicated four ways to facilitate strategy process within a global - local environment: a global strategy process, a combined global - local strategy process, an emergent strategy process and an agile strategy process. In the strategy process research, the results deepen the understanding of how local actors are involved in the global - local strategy process. The study includes both successful and less successful strategy deployment findings. The successful cases clearly show the effect of a cross-organizational approach where both local and global actors' commitment and engagement are achieved. On the other hand, the negative results demonstrate a strong top-down, 'one-size-fits-all' approach where local differences and local voices are disregarded. The overall challenge is how to get the local voice heard at the global level in the strategy process. The study demonstrates that strategies may be developed also at the local level for both local and global deployment. To succeed, the locally initiated strategy requires strong global sponsorship. Also, the local initiative needs be tightly aligned with the business targets and bring true business benefits in order to get visibility, resourcing and funding allocated to the actions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationLicentiate's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Järvenpää, Eila, Supervising Professor
  • Eloranta, Eero, Thesis Advisor
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeG3 Licentiate thesis

Keywords

  • Strategy creation
  • Strategy deployment
  • Global-local strategy
  • Local actor
  • Boundary role
  • Local voice

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