Systematic Literature Review on Global Strategy: Mapping Trends and Gaps

Systematic Literature Review on Global Strategy: Mapping Trends and Gaps

Nelson deMatos (ESGHT, University of Algarve, Portugal & Cinturs, Portugal), Miguel Ángel Sánchez Jiménez (Departamento de Marketing y Comunicación, Instituto de Investigación para el Desarrollo Social (INDESS), Universidad de Cádiz, Spain), Célia M. Q. Ramos (ESGHT, University of Algarve, Portugal & Cinturs, Portugal), Nuno Baptista (Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, Portugal & NECE, University of Beira Interior, Portugal) and João José de Matos Ferreira (NECE, Research Center in Business Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4552-2.ch010
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The global economy changed the way products and services are exchange and reminded organizations' managers to find new ways to obtain competitive advantage and formulate their strategy in the global market. Thus, this chapter's aim is to perform a systematic literature review to identify the main theoretical topics of global strategy in the past 43 years using bibliometric analysis. The results allowed to identify and cluster five main trends: Cluster 1 – firm performance in the global market; Cluster 2 – power and market space development; Cluster 3 – government regulation, government and regulation; Cluster 4 – economic periods; Cluster 5 – societal changes. Findings also allowed to find potential gaps in global strategy related with the topics of entrepreneurship, competitive strategy, capitalism, transitions, climate change, law, portfolio, financial performance, global sourcing, and global value chain. Conclusions are drawn.
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The global economy brought intense pressure for all organizations, from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to multinational enterprises (MNE) and at the same time it reshaped every organizations role in the global economy (Woods, 2010) since performance became an ever more competitive factor in the market success. But, the globalization also affected different corporate levels, particularly the managers during the decision-making process, regarding the marketing policies and strategies (Arli, Tjiptono & Winit, 2015; Flores & Aguilera, 2007; Knoerich, 2010; Liang & Gao, 2020; Menon & Menon, 1997).

On one end of the spectrum, with the globalization the market became more open, leading companies to search for strategic alliances or new networks (Liu, Jiang, Zhang, & Zhao, 2013; Veilleux et al., 2012). It also led to firms moving their production to overseas and finding new spaces and places, services (outsourcing), people (i.e., workforces), outside their units (e.g., outsourcing) and eventually news ways to do and create businesses (entrepreneurship) (Ghannad & Andersson, 2012; Liang & Gao, 2020; Linares Navarro et al., 2009; Pearce & Papanastassiou, 1999).

On the other end, globalization boosted market competitiveness, raised the barriers to entry in many markets and showed how culture can play a crucial role in firms strategy (Blom et al., 2008; Dalimunthe, 2016; Jain & Tucker, 1995; Min et al., 2015; Ralston et al., 2008). The implications of globalization extended to firms ethics, corruption, but also to concerns related with climate change, environmental protection and social responsibility (Arli et al., 2015; Beets, 2005; Christian & Gumbus, 2009; Peršič & Peršič, 2016; Pinkse & Kolk, 2012). In this environment, even innovation was approached differently by organizations, as a driving factor for successful strategies and performance (Carmona-Lavado, Gopalakrishnan & Zhang, 2020; Ikeda & Marshall, 2016; Rouen, 2020).

But, despite all these economy shifts, global strategy remains the same at its core, strategizing every organization’s governing, either at acquiring, diversifying, restricting, and even abandoning strategic business units or products. The market on the other hand, will continue to require an ever more attention from the academia and practionaires, to the global strategy theory and its subfields research areas, regarding planning, decision-making and implementation of a successful global strategy. The need to maintain a competitive advantage to deal with the global competitive set, increases the importance of framing the global strategy body of knowledge.

For instance, which changes has the market seen in the past decades, regarding consumers’ behavior? How did the organizations or economic agents adapted to those changes? which new policies, rules, laws perspectives, trends occurred? Despite previous studies (e.g., Degbey, 2015; Kireeva-Karimova, 2015; Krasniqi, 2013) few studies nevertheless, offered a broad view of how previous research shaped and changed global strategy theory. In this regard, this paper seeks to answer two questions: What are the main developments within global strategy construct? What are the main trends and gaps in the past four decades?

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