CHAPTER 13 Implementing Strategy in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries SYNOPSIS OF CHAPTER Chapter 13 is the second chapter to address the topic of strategy implementation. In this chapter, the focus is on firms that compete in more than one industry and/or more than one country. The first section describes the multidivisional structure, emphasizing its advantages and disadvantages. Next, the chapter describes four global strategies and describes how firms choose the correct strategy. This part of the chapter then details the relationship between global strategy and organizational structure. The chapter goes on to discuss entry modes for firms wishing to enter new industries, including internal new venturing, joint venturing, and mergers and acquisitions. This section contains a detailed description of actions that firms can effectively use for each of these entry modes. The final section relates the impact that information technology (IT) has had on strategy implementation, such as the increase in quality and quantity of information that can facilitate decision making. This section also mentions the ways in which IT has impacted firms, through enabling creation of a virtual organization and outsourcing. TEACHING OBJECTIVES 1. Introduce the multidivisional structure, and its costs and benefits. 2. Describe the four global strategies and describe how firms choose the correct global strategy. 3. Define the relationship between global strategy and organizational structure. 4. Describe three entry modes for firms wishing to enter a new industry, and show how those entry modes can be implemented effectively. 5. Explain the impact that information technology has had on strategy implementation. OPENING CASE: THE “NEW HP” GETS UP TO SPEED The “new” HP was created in May 2002 with the merger of Hewlett Packard and Compaq. The new firm must find a way to effectively compete against other multibusiness computer providers, such as IBM. The firm also must address competition with PC industry leader Dell. To do that, the combined firm has been organized into four product-related divisions: Hardware, Software, Services, and Printing. Responsibility is split between CEO Carly Fiorina who is in overall leadership, and President Michael Capellas, former Compaq CEO, who takes over in global business, sales, supply chain management, and e-commerce. Capellas will focus on improvements in areas where both HP and Compaq had been weak. Both firms had abandoned their matrix structure, due to slow decision making and lack of attention to organizationwide goals. Both HP and Compaq had previously been slow to adopt an Internet-based operation, and therefore had lost touch with customers and experienced unnecessarily high costs. Lack of an Internet focus had also hindered supply chain management and standardization. Teaching Note: This case sets the stage for the remainder of the chapter, with its focus on multidivisional structures and global competition. Class discussion can address HP’s different classes of competitors. Ask students, “How does the use of a multidivisional structure hinder HP relative to single-business firms, such as Dell?” and “How does the structure help HP?” Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 158 Chapter 13: Implementing Strategy in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries LECTURE OUTLINE I. II. Overview A. This chapter addresses issues of implementing strategy in multibusiness organizations, which in some cases, are extensions of concepts explored in Chapter 12 (implementation in single business firms). B. In other cases, the increased complexity of simultaneously managing more than one business creates new concerns and issues. Managing Corporate Strategy Through the Multidivisional Structure A. Bureaucratic costs are likely to be higher in multibusiness firms than in single business ones. B. For multibusiness firms, the multidivisional structure is superior to the functional structure, for several reasons. Show Transparency 82 Figure 13.1: Multidivisional Structure 1. 2. 3. 4. Each business unit is placed in a self-contained division and supplied with all support functions. Thus each part essentially operates separately from the other parts of the company. The office of corporate headquarters staff is created to control and oversee the divisions. Headquarters also provides corporate support functions, such as finance and R&D. Divisional managers have operating responsibility; corporate managers have strategic responsibility. Each division is treated as a profit center and can adopt the structure and control systems that best serve its strategy. STRATEGY IN ACTION 13.1: GM’S MULTIDIVISIONAL STRUCTURE CHANGES OVER TIME Over the years, GM has changed its structure several times, beginning with the 25 autonomous operating divisions that comprised the firm in the 1910s. To better compete with centralized, single-business Ford Motors, CEO Alfred Sloan invented the multidivisional structure in 1920. This structure allowed GM to benefit from the cost savings that come from centralization, while keeping the flexibility and innovation inherent in a decentralized structure. Sloan saw advantages from the multidivisional structure, including improved accountability, easier resource allocation, and higher autonomy and morale. In the 1980s, to better compete with the cost-efficient Japanese automakers, GM again re-structured, reducing the number of divisions and centralizing design and engineering. All GM vehicles began to look alike, sales dropped, and the structure was abandoned. Today, the firm continues to struggle with issues of centralization, experimenting to find the right level. Teaching Note: This case does a good job at describing the challenges of a multidivisional structure. GM seems to be too decentralized at first, then to centralize too much, then to overcorrect by too much decentralization, and so on. The firm is apparently unable to find the right amount of centralization to gain cost advantages without sacrificing flexibility. Students should recognize, based on this case, that organization structure is not static, and that firms are constantly assessing the tradeoffs inherent in each structural change. C. D. A multidivisional structure has several advantages. 1. Enhanced corporate financial control is one advantage of the multidivisional structure. The profitability of the different divisions is very clear, allowing the corporate staff to readily determine the best resource allocation scheme. 2. Enhanced strategic control is another benefit, because corporate staffs are freed from operating responsibilities, and can concentrate on corporate strategy. 3. The structure overcomes limits to growth because it permits the company to operate many businesses without information overload or requiring too much intervention from corporate managers. 4. Because divisional performance has greater visibility, divisional managers realize that corporate managers can detect inefficiencies, and thus are motivated to perform at a higher level. Implementing a multidivisional structure has drawbacks as well, and the advantages must be balanced against them. 1. Managing the balance of power between corporate and divisional managers is difficult. The problem lies in deciding how much authority to centralize at the corporate level and how much Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Chapter 13: Implementing Strategies in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries 159 to decentralize at the divisional level. Too much centralizing puts divisional managers in a straitjacket. Too much decentralizing, however, may cause the company to lose control over its strategy, damaging corporate performance. STRATEGY IN ACTION 13.2: AMOCO, ARCO, AND BURMAH CASTROL BECOME PART OF BP For years, Amoco was organized into three operating subsidiaries: exploration, refining, and chemicals manufacturing. Combined with a centralized structure, this led to a tall hierarchy and slow decision making. Intense price competition in the 1990s spurred the firm to look for cost savings, and the firm switched to a decentralized, multidivisional structure. The structure worked, and when the firm merged with BP and then acquired ARCO and Burmah Castrol, it allowed for a smooth integration of the new businesses. Teaching Note: In contrast to the Strategy in Action 13.1 about GM, this case illustrates how Amoco was able to find a level of centralization that enabled cost savings while also enabling flexibility. Amoco’s success in integrating two acquisitions and a merger partner shows that the structure is working effectively. Ask students to compare Amoco’s structure with GM’s and to identify reasons why one firm has succeeded while the other has not. 2. E. If the corporate center puts too much financial pressure on the divisions, they may be encouraged to distort the information they supply to corporate managers. For example, they may pursue short-run rather than long-run profit maximization. 3. Divisions may start to compete for resources, which reduces cooperation and learning across units. 4. When divisions are competing, it is difficult to set fair prices for trading resources between them. Each division tries to set the highest price it can to maximize its own ROIC, but such efforts can hurt corporate performance and corporate ROIC. This is referred to as the transfer pricing problem. 5. If divisions are being evaluated strictly on return on investment targets, they might cut back on R&D to improve their financial performance. 6. Each division has its own support services, which can lead to a duplication of functions and increased expenses. This is an especially critical problem in regard to highly expensive R&D. After a company chooses a multidivisional structure, it then must develop the control mechanisms that are appropriate for that structure. The type of control mechanisms that are used depends on whether the firm is using unrelated diversification, vertical integration, or related diversification. Show Transparency 83 Table 13.1: Corporate Strategy, Structure, and Control 1. Because there are no linkages between divisions, unrelated diversification is the easiest and cheapest strategy to manage, with the lowest level of bureaucratic costs. a. Normally, a multidivisional structure is used for this strategy and the corporate headquarters tends to be small because the need for integration among divisions is low. b. The control used is principally financial control and corporate headquarters uses measures such as ROIC as the main means of evaluating each division’s performance. They treat the corporation’s businesses as an investment portfolio, attempting to allocate resources so as to realize the greatest profitability. c. Divisions are completely autonomous, thus the idea of corporate culture is meaningless. STRATEGY IN ACTION 13.3: ALCO STANDARD GETS IT RIGHT Alco pursues a strategy of unrelated diversification in two main industries: office products and paper distribution. Corporate managers make no attempt to intervene in the operations of each division. They see their role primarily as information gatherers and providers of the resources that the divisions need to improve their performance. Divisional managers are rewarded with stock options based on the performance of their divisions, and corporate performance has been improving steadily. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 160 Chapter 13: Implementing Strategy in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries Teaching Note: Alco is a clear example of the benefits of pursuing a strategy of unrelated diversification. To spark discussion, ask students to list some of the potential costs or pitfalls of this strategy, and to then describe actions that Alco’s managers could take to lessen the negative consequences. 2. III. Vertical integration is the next most expensive strategy to coordinate. Bureaucratic costs are higher because corporate headquarters must control sequential resource transfers from one division to the next. a. By adopting the multidivisional structure, a vertically integrated company gains centralized control, and corporate managers can control resource transfers between divisions. b. Market and behavior controls are also applied as the company seeks to standardize resource transfers and to use budgets, as well as ROIC, to evaluate divisional performance. The company also uses rules as a control mechanism. c. In addition, handling resource transfers increases the need for integration, and task forces are likely to be established to guide interdivisional coordination. 3. Related diversification increases the number of linkages between divisions that have to be managed, making this strategy the most expensive. a. Output control is difficult to measure due to extensive cooperation, so culture control is used more frequently. b. Integrating roles and teams are required to integrate the work of multiple divisions. c. Reward systems must be carefully designed, to ensure that managers have an incentive to share resources. F. Information technology helps divisions share knowledge and leverage competencies, and it facilitates strategic control by providing better, more timely information. IT eases decentralization and makes it more difficult to distort information. IT eases the transfer pricing problem, because it makes comparisons with external sources of inputs easier. Implementing Strategy Across Countries A. Most large companies have a global dimension to their strategies because they sell their products in global markets. B. There are four strategies that firms that compete in the global market can follow. 1. A multidomestic strategy is oriented toward local responsiveness, and a company decentralizes authority to each country in which it operates, which leads to customized products for each local market. 2. In an international strategy, R&D and marketing are centralized in the home country, whereas all other functions are performed locally. 3. A global strategy requires centralization of all functions, and thus leads to low costs. 4. Companies pursuing a transnational strategy centralize some functions and decentralize others, depending on each product’s and region’s characteristics. C. As a company moves from a multidomestic, to an international, to a global, and then to a transnational strategy, the need for coordination increases, and companies adopt a more complex structure and more complex ways of controlling their activities. As complexity increases, so too do management challenges and bureaucratic costs. D. To choose from the four preceding strategies, a firm must answer three questions. 1. The firm must decide how to distribute authority between the home country and local operations to maintain effective control. 2. The firm must choose the organizational structure that allows the most efficient allocation of resources and the best service to customers. 3. The firm must design control systems and organizational culture to allow the structure to work effectively. Show Transparency 84 Table 13.2: Global Strategy/Structure Relationships Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Chapter 13: Implementing Strategies in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries E. 161 When a firm chooses a multidomestic strategy, it generally chooses a global-area structure. Show Transparency 85 Figure 13.2: Global-Area Structure 1. F. The global-area structure duplicates all its value-creation functions in every country in which it operates and establishes a foreign division in every country. 2. The need for integration is low, and control over business strategy is decentralized to these divisions. 3. Managers at global headquarters use output and market control to evaluate the business unit’s performance. 4. Each region or country is virtually an autonomous operating entity and no corporate culture develops on a global level. 5. A disadvantage of this choice is the probability of duplicating some expensive specialist functions. Also, this strategy reduces the chances of organizationwide learning. With an international strategy, a company often adopts an international division structure to coordinate and oversee their activities. Show Transparency 86 Figure 13.3: International Division Structure 1. G. In an international division structure, the company creates an international division, which is just one of the company’s divisions. It handles the distribution of products to the foreign subsidiaries on a country-by-country basis. 2. The international division integrates between the domestic divisions and foreign subsidiaries and allows a company to engage in complex foreign operations with relatively low bureaucratic costs. 3. Disadvantages include the potential for conflict between domestic and international managers and the resistance of foreign managers to adopting business practices that are at odds with their local cultural practices. When a global strategy is used, a global product division structure is chosen. Show Transparency 87 Figure 13.4: Global Product Division Structure 1. H. A product division headquarters is created to coordinate the activities of both domestic and foreign operations. 2. Product division managers coordinate all aspects of global value-creation activities—for example, deciding what should be produced or designed at which global location. Each major activity is performed at only one global location. 3. Problems include a lack of local responsiveness to the needs of each country and the difficulty of integrating the activities of the different product groups. A company embarking on a transnational strategy typically adopts the global matrix structure. Show Transparency 88 Figure 13.5: Global Matrix Structure 1. 2. 3. One aspect of the structure is based on the company’s major product groups. The second aspect is the foreign divisions in the various countries in which a company competes. Thus, each worker reports to both a product boss and a regional boss. Control is decentralized, but corporate managers still retain some control. Managers in the foreign subsidiary control foreign operations and are responsible for local responsiveness. The global matrix strategy is best for sharing information and enabling learning. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 162 Chapter 13: Implementing Strategy in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries 4. A global culture is very important in helping to provide the integration that makes a matrix structure work effectively, and global networks of managers provide extra coordination. STRATEGY IN ACTION 13.4: USING IT TO MAKE NESTLÉ’S GLOBAL STRUCTURE WORK Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, grew through acquisition, purchasing Perrier, Carnation, Stouffer, and other food businesses. The firm used to pursue a multidomestic strategy, relying on a global area structure and decentralizing control to each national unit. However, during the 1990s Nestlé moved to a global matrix structure, decentralizing authority to managers in charge of seven global product groups—coffee, candy, and so on. Then it grouped all the divisions within a country into one business. This allowed the firm to pursue a transnational strategy, leading to lower costs and improved differentiation. The matrix structure facilitated sharing information within countries, but Nestlé wished to share more information across countries. To accomplish this, the firm used leading-edge information technology to share data across the globe. Today, the company is using IT to standardize computer systems and business practices around the world. Teaching Note: This case shows the positive impact that cutting-edge technology can have on implementing a complex organizational structure. Ask students to answer this question: “Could Nestlé have adopted the matrix structure without the use of sophisticated IT? If so, how?” The students will probably answer, “No.” Answering this question will require students to consider the relationship between sophisticated IT systems and organizational structure. 5. IV. One factor that is important in making the global matrix strategy work is the development of a strong cross-country organizational culture. 6. Information technology, such as teleconferencing, e-mail, and global intranets, is facilitating strong global cultures and easing the difficulties of worldwide coordination mechanisms. Entry Mode and Implementation A. Over time, strategies change and corporations wish to enter new industries. One mode of entry into a new business is through internal new venturing. 1. Internal new ventures create organizational arrangements that allow employees to be entrepreneurial. Internal entrepreneurs are called intrapreneurs. This mode of entry is often used by large, established companies. 2. Organizations must design their structures, control mechanisms, and culture to encourage innovation and risk-taking, while also ensuring that the new ventures contribute to the organization’s overall strategy. One approach encourages intrapreneurs throughout the organization. a. One way to accomplish this is to encourage researchers to spend time developing their own ideas. b. Another way is through the establishment of cross-functional teams to foster values of cooperation and innovation. c. The use of reward systems that place a high value on innovations leads to an innovative culture. 3. Other organizations believe that new ventures have the highest chances for success when they are removed from the day-to-day pressures of the organization. a. This is accomplished by the creation of new-venture divisions. The company sets up a division separate from other divisions and not subject to day-to-day scrutiny of top management and allows it to develop a culture for innovation. b. Preserving the autonomy of the new-ventures division is crucial; top management must not be allowed to put it in a straitjacket. Therefore, output controls are de-emphasized while culture is used as a control mechanism instead. 4. Companies that follow the develop-in-place model, such as 3M, have enjoyed greater success than those who created separate new-venture divisions. Many of their products failed to reach market, and those that did were burdened with high costs. Scientists may not be qualified to develop successful business models, because they lack training in that area. B. Another mode of entering a new industry is joint venturing. 1. Joint ventures are created when two or more companies agree to pool resources and work together. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Chapter 13: Implementing Strategies in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries 163 2. V. Monitoring the performance of the venture is necessary for both parties, and neither wants to give up any proprietary knowledge. Sometimes ownership of the new venture is split 51/49 rather than 50/50, to make it clear which company “owns” any new products. 3. The purpose of the joint venture (new product development, joint distribution and marketing, and so on) and whether the partners are also competitors are factors that affect implementation. 4. The CEO and top managers are chosen from both firms, and that team together develops a business model, decides upon the organization’s structure and control systems, and creates a company culture. 5. Some companies prefer to avoid the uncertainty and risk associated with joint venturing, and just acquire a company that possesses the necessary skills. C. Mergers and acquisitions are also used to enter new industries. 1. Mergers and acquisitions have a high failure, at least in part due to the lack of forethought about integration issues. 2. One of the key challenges is to establish new lines of authority and responsibility. Managers who are dissatisfied may leave the company, taking valuable expertise with them. 3. Then the new units must be integrated with the rest. The more these new businesses differ from the core business, the greater are the problems. 4. When the company is pursuing unrelated diversification, corporate managers should not make radical changes that will interfere with the performance of the new unit. 5. Companies use output and behavior controls to standardize practices across all the units, including the new ones. 6. Acquired companies probably have different cultures so it is often difficult to integrate the new divisions into the company’s existing structure. IT, the Internet, and Outsourcing A. IT has a number of benefits that aid in strategy implementation. 1. Information technology (IT) makes it easier to implement strategy, because of better and more timely information and information sharing. 2. IT consists of both physical systems, which are relatively easy to imitate, and IT know-how, which can be very hard to imitate. 3. IT provides knowledge that allows managers to better differentiate their products. IT contributes to innovation by helping managers use knowledge competitively. 4. IT has also affected organizational structure, aiding the development of flatter structures, greater decentralization, and increased integration, while reducing the organization’s dependence on other, more costly forms of coordination. STRATEGY IN ACTION 13.5: ORACLE’S NEW APPROACH TO CONTROL In 1999, Oracle, the world’s second-largest software producer, found that it was not using the latest Internet software for internal control, even though it had written the software! In fact, the firm was using over 70 different computer systems for strategic control. CEO Larry Ellison ordered employees to standardize and to discover and implement new Internet-based applications, such as employee expense reporting. A new sales system allows salespeople to capture data that can then be used throughout the company. Ellison’s goal is to eventually automate all support functions. Teaching Note: Oracle’s case vividly demonstrates the strategic benefits of IT. Classroom discussion can be initiated by asking students to describe tasks from their daily lives or from business practices of organization with which they are familiar, that are not currently automated but could be. Then ask them to describe the benefits that the automation would bring. B. C. The enhanced capabilities of IT have led to the development of the virtual organization, composed of workers who are linked by computers, e-mail, fax, and so on, and who hardly ever meet face-toface. Another major impact of IT on strategy implementation is an increased ability to outsource. IT enables outsourcing by allowing better coordination of the flow of parts and products, while also allowing better sharing of competencies, such as design. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 164 Chapter 13: Implementing Strategy in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries D. One application of IT that has had a big impact on many businesses is the development of businessto-business (B2B) networks. These networks provide an online way for companies in the same industry to link with suppliers and buyers, improving supply chain operations. STRATEGY IN ACTION 13.6: LI & FUNG’S GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT Li & Fung is one of the firms whose business model is providing intermediary or broker services to firms that are looking for the lowest-cost international suppliers. As foreign manufacturers increasingly specialize in just one small part of the supply chain, brokers are more in demand than ever. The firm employs over 3,000 agents in 37 countries, and charges fees for its services that are less than a firm’s cost to employ its own agents. Teaching Note: This case highlights a growing but little-known industry, that of foreign intermediaries for multinational manufacturers. The growth and success of these firms is one impact of the increasing use of IT. E. F. IT has also reduced information costs so that global strategic alliances are more attractive, in many cases, than is vertical integration. To implement outsourcing, many firms use a network structure, that is, a set of strategic alliances with suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. 1. Network structures allow many firms to cooperate, while reducing the bureaucratic costs that would be incurred if the activities occurred in one complex organization. 2. Network structures lead to low costs, adaptability to change, and structural flexibility. ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. How would a company decide to change from a functional to a multidivisional structure? Typically, companies change from a functional to a multidivisional structure as they grow in size and complexity. Geographic dispersion, wide variety of products, increased need for coordination of efforts, sheer numbers of employees, and diversity in inputs and processes all create a need for a structure that allows closer communication and tighter control. Companies that wish to better that size and complexity, and to gain both cost savings and enhanced differentiation, would consider the use of a multidivisional structure. 2. If a related company begins to buy unrelated businesses, in what ways should it change its structure or control mechanisms to manage the acquisitions? In buying unrelated businesses, the company needs to realize that the controls it applies to related divisions are not appropriate for unrelated divisions. Each set of divisions should be managed separately, and no attempt should be made to realize synergies. Financial controls should be used to evaluate the performance of unrelated divisions and financial resources should be allocated according to where managers can maximize corporate profitability. In terms of structure, a multidivisional structure would be appropriate, but the corporate center must allow divisions to pursue the advantages associated with their respective strategies. 3. What prompts a company to change from a global to a transnational strategy, and what new implementation problems arise as it does so? When a firm pursuing a global strategy grows even larger and more complex, there are increased pressures for responsiveness to local needs. To enhance their ability to respond locally and yet to retain the cost advantages of a global strategy, firms turn to a transnational strategy, which combines the best features of the two. The transnational strategy is the most difficult, because it requires the firm to constantly balance the need for centralization in the home country headquarters with the need for decentralization in each country. Therefore, transnational companies must give some control to regional personnel, but must retain control of key decisions. Also, companies with a transnational strategy often choose a global matrix structure that is complex. Another difficulty is the need for a one global culture to integrate a company’s units, and it can be difficult to implement one global culture in different national cultures. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Chapter 13: Implementing Strategies in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries 4. 165 How would you design a structure and control system to encourage entrepreneurship in a large, established corporation? The structures and control systems of large, mature corporations have often become so routinized and suited to existing products and markets that they cannot readily sustain a culture geared to innovation. One of the best ways to overcome this problem is to establish a new-ventures division apart from the main organization and give it the opportunity to develop a structure and control system that fosters an entrepreneurial culture. This division should be managed separately from the main organization, and as new products are developed, they should be spun off to the company’s other divisions. Thus the new-ventures division would remain entrepreneurial and not become much involved in commercializing the new ideas. Its job would be to generate more new ideas. 5. What are the problems associated with implementing a strategy of related diversification through acquisitions? One difficulty is that, when the acquisition is completed, the new units must be integrated, which can be difficult if the new businesses differ substantially from the core business. This is made more difficult by a lack of planning and forethought about integration issues. Also following the acquisition, managers must establish new reporting relationships, new lines of authority and responsibility, and standardized practices across all the businesses. Different cultures also contribute to integration problems. Finally, the needs of the personnel from the acquired businesses must be considered, because the managers of the acquired firm may become dissatisfied and resign, taking important organizational capabilities with them. SMALL-GROUP EXERCISE: DECIDING ON AN ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE (CONTINUED) Students are asked to revisit the Chapter 12 small-group exercise, in which they chose an organizational structure for a soft drinks firm that had the goal of competing with Coca-Cola in every market segment. Based on that same scenario, students are now asked to choose a global structure that fits with their choices in the Chapter 12 exercise. Teaching Note: Students should be able to readily prepare a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of global structure. Again, it is instructive to remind them that every choice has both positive and negative aspects. Therefore, any choice they make will necessarily involve accepting some undesirable consequences. Also, students should be aware of the connection between structure and global structure, as well as between global strategy and global structure. Use this exercise to work out the logic behind the text’s recommended pairings of global strategy and structure. In other words, what makes a particular structure “best” for a company pursuing a particular strategy? ARTICLE FILE 13 Students should find a company that has changed its structure and control systems to better match its strategy. Students should describe the problems that prompted the change, the change itself, and the performance outcomes that resulted from the change. Teaching Note: Examples of firms that have undergone a recent change in structure or control systems include Vivendi, Kimberly-Clark, and Ford Motors. At each of these firms, a strategic shift prompted the company to reorganize. Students will see that most firms do not see a quick turnaround in performance after a structural change. If the change is effective, positive outcomes might take months or even years to develop. It might be instructive for students to look for even older changes, perhaps some that took place five to ten years ago. In those cases, the success or failure of the change should be clearer. STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PROJECT: MODULE 13 Students are asked to examine strategy implementation at their firm, describing and evaluating their multibusiness and global strategies. Students are also required to assess their firm’s entry modes and their use of IT in coordinating value chain activities. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 166 Chapter 13: Implementing Strategy in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries Teaching Note: In addition to answering the questions above, you can ask students to investigate the ways in which their single business strategy complements or detracts from their multibusiness strategy. This should emphasize to the students the importance of coordinating strategies at every level of the organization. EXPLORING THE WEB: VISITING SEARS Students are asked to visit Sears’s web site (www.sears.com) in order to examine how the firm’s multibusiness strategy has changed over time. Students are required to predict the impact that the firm’s current multibusiness strategy is likely to have on performance, and to describe how the firm’s structure, control systems, and culture have changed over time. In the General Task, students are asked to evaluate the structure, control systems, and IT of a firm that is changing the way it implements its strategy. Teaching Note: Students will find that Sears’s structure has changed from a single business company selling items to rural farmers straight off of a train in the 1880s, to a national mail-order retailer for thousands of low-price goods by 1900, to a chain of discount retail stores in the 1920s. Sears began to offer Allstate insurance in the 1930s and opened its first foreign store in Mexico in 1947. Diversification efforts in the 1980s led the firm into Dean Witter financial services, Coldwell Banker real estate services, and the Discover card. In the 1990s, Sears spun off its financial services businesses and sold its foreign operations, except for those in Canada. Catalog sales were shut down, and the firm has now invested heavily in Internet-based retailing. From this information, students should be able to make predictions about performance, structure, control systems, and culture. In the General Task, students will readily find examples of a firm that is changing the way it implements its strategy. Students should again note the relationships between a firm’s strategy, structure, control systems, and use of IT. CLOSING CASE: HUGHES AIRCRAFT CHANGES ITS DIVISIONAL STRUCTURE Hughes Aircraft, along with other defense contractors, enjoyed a comfortable competitive environment for decades, but the end of the Cold War and the associated reduction in defense spending left the firm searching for a strategy that didn’t depend upon the military. CEO C. Michael Armstrong saw that the firm was pursuing a differentiation strategy based on technological superiority, and the organization’s structure was very centralized and tall. Cost cutting was not a priority and there was duplication of functions and little sharing of knowledge. Armstrong changed the product structure to a market structure, to better focus on each customer group’s needs. He decentralized decision making, eliminated two hierarchical levels and transferred U.S. managers overseas, to broaden their customer experience. New control systems and new culture have also done their part to transform this manufacturer into a profitable, innovative firm. Teaching Note: The changes that were made at Hughes Aircraft highlights one of the major themes of this chapter—the need for an appropriate strategy with an appropriate multidivisional structure, controls, and culture to support it. Ask students to compare Hughes’s strategy implementation with HP’s implementation, described in the Opening Case. What is similar and what is different about the companies’ implementations? Why do the differences exist? Answers to Case Discussion Questions 1. What problems did Armstrong discover with Hughes’s strategy and structure? In a protected defense environment, Hughes had developed a top-heavy multidivisional structure in which little attention was paid to cost control and resources were expended lavishly to develop new technology. Each of its seven divisions had established its own little empire, and expensive R&D activities were being duplicated throughout the organization. Moreover, there was little integration among divisions, and divisional managers were not transferring resources or sharing information to create value from Hughes’s strategy of related diversification. Finally, there were few incentives to control costs because, traditionally, promotion had come from technical success. 2. What steps did he take to reengineer the company? Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Chapter 13: Implementing Strategies in Companies That Compete Across Industries and Countries 167 Armstrong realized that to bring Hughes’s differentiation strategy under control he would have to improve the way the company used its resources. One of the main factors that determines how well a company uses its resources is its structure. To improve the way Hughes utilized its skills in innovation and to reduce costs and improve efficiency, Armstrong focused Hughes’s structure on the customer, not the product being produced. From seven product-based divisions, he moved Hughes to five market-based groups, tied to the customer needs they were satisfying, such as consumer electronics. In addition, he flattened the corporate hierarchy and decentralized control to the divisions to allow them to get closer to the customer. Armstrong then altered the Hughes control system. He introduced new output controls and competitive benchmarking to help divisional managers in reducing costs and tied rewards to their cost-cutting efforts. At the same time, however, he strove to preserve Hughes’s core technical values and its culture of innovation. His efforts were successful, for performance has increased dramatically and a turnaround appears to be in sight. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.