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Drawing on examples from the US, Japan, Great Britain and Other European Countries, Discuss How Differences in National Development Have Affected Corporate Strategy.

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Drawing on examples from the US, Japan, Great Britain and Other European Countries, Discuss How Differences in National Development Have Affected Corporate Strategy George Demain The course of any one countries development is a route which would have involved a huge and diverse number of factors. These have ranged from the most basic and unchangeable, such as global position, through to complex factors such as the implementation of political ideologies that have resulted a particular type of regime or government in a country. These factors, and more, have weighed heavily on a countries developmental road, and meant that there have been many inherent differences between countries, politically, economically and socially to name but a few. Until relatively recently, a company's goals and strategies have been hugely dominated by the particular national development route of a country, and the differences between country's this has created. One of the results of the interactions between the differing factors that created different national development paths was that companies from different countries followed different practises and strategies, most of which were in some way strongly entwined with the development of the home country. For example, the Japanese culture of collective spirit and commitment led to an implementation of these aspects in business methods, shown by the so called 'life time employment' ideals, and the strong relationships companies have with suppliers (Abe & Fitzgerald, xxxx). This essay will provide more examples of this relationship between company and country, and its affect on national development and corporate strategy. For the sake of this analysis, the essay will concentrate mostly on Japan and the US, highlighting the effects of factors such as culture and location, and analysing how these factors have affected the goals and strategies of companies from those countries, providing proof that national development has had a massive role to play in corporate strategy. ...read more.


It is easy to say that American culture is different from Japanese, but how have these differences expressed themselves in corporate strategy? In America, there is commonly considered to be a 'can do' attitude to business, a facet of the much vaunted, and it has to be said heavily criticised, 'American Dream' idea. Porter (1990) informs us of how open American society is, and of how people are prepared to take risks to better themselves. He describes this attitude of risk taking, and a social acceptance of failure, as a product of the huge level of diversification of peoples in the US, and the fact that so many people travel there in an attempt to start a new life and improve their position. There is a culture of 'try your hardest, no matter what the result, and we will support you', and that ideology has meant that there were, and still are, a huge number of outsiders, immigrants, that were ready to try and set up businesses in America. This culture has led to a huge number of new businesses and spin off's being launched every year, meaning that competition was always strong, pushing both quality and value up. It has also meant that American companies have been prepared to take, when compared to more cautious British companies for example, many more risks in the formulation of corporate strategy. An example of this could be the early acceptance of the M-Form by US firms when compared to British firms. There is also a culture in America of mass consumption - it was the world's first mass consumer market. A conveinant orientated life style, coupled with a consumer willingness to accept self-service and less personal attention, has meant that services in the US could easily accept standardization and systemisation (Porter, 1990). ...read more.


To truly exercise their position of power, companies must use strategies that promote global growth, and strategies based on national development will only go a short way towards achieving that. Overall, the role of national development in corporate strategy has been an important one, but globalization means its importance is decreasing. The 'goal posts' of a companies markets are changing, and a flexible strategy based on global experience and development is needed to take advantage of this. Looking back through the last century, it is clear that national development has played a large part in the determinant of corporate strategy. Japanese shortcomings in terms of natural resources have meant they have become market leaders in other areas, American culture helped create the first mass market and created huge demand. But as we go in to the new millennium, companies have to be aware they are no longer competing for domestic markets - true market leaders need to view their markets as global. Foreign firms are not basing their strategy on national development - they are basing it on the goals of global growth and expansion. At the beginning of this essay I talked about how each country has followed a different route, a different path, on the road of national development, withy the differences in this route meaning that companies have different goals and strategies. However, with progressing globalization, and companies competing all over the world, it seems that the only way a company will succeed is by globalizing not just its operations, but also its corporate strategy. The globalization of corporate strategy and customers, fuelled by the rise of the borderless society, means that the different routes that countries have travelled, which have resulted in differences in corporate strategy, may have the same destination after all. ...read more.

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