Donald R. Lessard 1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Keywords: global strategy, competitiveness, geographic scope, internationalization,
Strategic analysis in a global setting involves competition in industries that
extend across national boundaries and among firms with different national
home bases that may tap into strategic resources in more than one location.
This note provides frameworks for global strategic analysis at four levels: the
geographic scope of the industry, the competitiveness of various locations, the
geographic reach of the firm, and the global integration vs. local focus of
specific activities. This multilevel approach makes it possible to "zoom in" on
a particular strategic setting, taking into account the most important factors at
2. Levels of Analysis: Issues, Frameworks and Actions
This note introduces the principal frames of reference required for strategic
thinking and action in an international context. These include those required
for defining the geographic scope of industries, the competitive advantage of
countries (regions) and its implications for the location of activities, and the
appropriate tradeoffs between local responsiveness and global integration of
different activities in the value chain. Strategic thinking in any context
involves the identification of a set of issues, the selection and/or development
of an appropriate conceptual framework for assessing these issues and
identifying potential courses of action, measuring key variables, and selecting
courses of action.
1. Epoch Foundation Professor of International Management, MIT Sloan School of
Management. This note is adapted from an MIT Sloan School teaching note that reflects
the “multi-level” approach to IM developed together with Eleanor Westney over the years.
While I have attempted to cite the prior works I draw on directly, this note... [continues]
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