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Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy by Richard D. Lewis, Kai Hammerich

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6

THE GROWTH PERIOD

In this chapter, we will discuss the growth period, when the company continues its geographical expansion, often beyond the more familiar neighbouring countries. As it expands the number of product lines and the number of customer segments the company addresses, it becomes a more mature corporation needing global processes. It will need different skills and capabilities to be successful, and different national traits will impact its success, compared to the embryonic period.

While the transformation from one phase to the next often appears evolutionary, the requirements for different work practices combined with a new mix of national and business influencers can be disruptive. We will use the case of Samsung versus Sony to compare and contrast the fortunes of these two global consumer electronics giants and study the perils of globalization as national and business influencers impact the execution of the strategy.

A typical example of this is the important decision that non-American companies have to make when contemplating how to expand in the USA. Should they hire a local leader or relocate an expat? Or should they acquire a local company with products that are better suited to the local needs? Companies often mix these strategies over time, as they realize that each has its own pitfalls. A familiar case study of a European company entering the USA may look like this:

“Company X – a market leader in Europe – comes to America to open new markets and compete ...

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