Global Strategy: The World Is Your Oyster (If You Can Shuck It!)
In this inaugural address, I will briefly talk about the disciplinary background, central research questions and themes of Global Strategy. I also present what may be the dominant framework of understanding how global strategy works and what determines its success: i.e., the formation and implementation of global strategies involves intricate connections between – and savvy decision-making about – resources, relations, and rules. I call this the R3 of Global Strategy. What comes into play particularly in the international context is the role of rules. My goal here today is to spur your interest in the variety of forms, functions, and forces of rules. Many kinds of rules matter in Global Strategy, and they are housed at the supranational, national, organizational, individual, and other levels to shape how people and firms behave in a global context, how they differ, what determines their success or failure, and how strategic decisions, practices, and processes are conditioned. To illustrate the diverse roles of rules, I will discuss the international acquisition process – one of the most important and consequential strategic events for firms. This illustration seems to suggest that success in Global Strategy relies for an important part on a curiosity, or a desire to know about how rules – both our own and others, both local and foreign – influence who we and others are as individuals and as organizations.