Strategic Management - New Rules for Old Europe

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November 2007



Lecturers and researchers at Saarland University's Europa-Institut present the latest findings and trends of their most important research topics. They discuss the present state of the art in European management, focussing on the areas of marketing & commerce, finance, human resource management & entrepreneurship, as well as European policy.


Changes in the Institutional Environment

Changes for Companies: Outside-Inside- Perspective

Changes for Companies: Inside-Outside-Perspective

Consequences for Germany


Univ.-Professor Dr. Christian Scholz holds the chair of Business Administration, especially Organisation, Human Resource Management and Information Management at Saarland University, Germany. He is director of the Institute of Management Competence and director of the Europa-Institut at Saarland University, Germany. Univ.-Professor Dr. Joachim Zentes holds the chair of Business Administration, especially Foreign Trade and International Management at Saarland University, Germany. He is director of the Institute of Commerce & International Marketing and director of the Europa-Institut at Saarland University.


1. The Challenge: Escaping from the All-Is-Simple-Trap (S. 203-204)

1.1 The Need for Cross-National

Team-Building in Europe Statistics on intra-EU trade show that the intra-European interpenetration of national economies continues (Cristallo 2003, p. 2). In a situation of an ongoing process of integration and interconnection of countries, markets, and technologies (Roberts/Kossek/Ozeki 1998, Barkema/Baum/Mannix 2002), companies face increasing competition with respect to costs and prices, product quality, and time-to-market.

Companies in Europe recognise not only the threats of hypercompetition (DAveni 1994) caused by Europeanisation and globalisation. They also realise the opportunities resulting from international presence, such as global sourcing, global product development, global production networks, global marketing, and global distribution. A recent study (KfW Bankengruppe 2004, pp. 3-4) reports that German companies still have their most important export markets in Western Europe and increasingly in the new EU countries of Middle and Eastern Europe, their preferred target region for direct investments - with positive economic effects on the companies and on the whole country. The subsidiaries, as a result of a Europe-wide and international presence, form international networks (Snow/Miles/Coleman 1992, Sydow 1992).

They make it possible to benefit from the market-related advantages in the sense of optimising the overall company performance. The corresponding structure of cross-national collaboration on the team level are cross-national functional teams which receive responsibility for those tasks which are supposed to make synergies work, like, e.g., speed advantages (Simon 1989). Some companies even develop or produce services and goods in an expanded process structure, and therefore pass internationally distributed work forth within Europe and around the globe, following t
he alternating working hours in their different international locations.

Companies are facing the need for cross-national team building, but are also facing the related obstacles: from geographical distances and time differences to national cultural diversity and different work cultures. The logic of contemporary international teamwork is to transfer the idea of the "lead country concept" (Bartlett/Ghoshal 1989) to team level: Not only should single subsidiaries as a whole take the lead in the transnational network where they have a specific competence advantage, but also should single team units take the lead in the crossnational functional team where they have a specific competence advantage. One of the recently discussed approaches to solve the immense challenges of cross-national teamwork in this sense are International Virtual Teams (IVTs).

1.2 The Optimism that Failed

For a long time now, companies have been dealing with cross-national team structures. And for the same length of time, a relatively uncritical optimism has been observed. Except for the rather complicated cultural diversity topic (Moosmiiller 1997, Black et al. 1999), international teams were celebrated as a manageable innovation. Managers did not see major problems in transferring local teamwork principles to the international scale. They were optimistic that this kind of company-wide collaboration could strengthen the international interconnectedness of their company and that it might benefit from synergies.


"Insgesamt ließe sich das sehr überzeugende und in jeder Hinsicht empfehlenswerte Buch auch überschreiben mit 'Good Rules für Good Old Europe'." Die Bank, 07/2006
EAN: 9783834992543
Untertitel: 2006. Auflage. eBook. Sprache: Englisch. Dateigröße in MByte: 28.
Verlag: Gabler Verlag
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2007
Seitenanzahl: viii314
Format: pdf eBook
Kopierschutz: Adobe DRM
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