Over the past decade, European businesses have accelerated internationalization, expanding within and beyond Europe. I argue that a major driving force behind this push towards global presence is the restructuring of corporate diversification strategies, which in turn is a result of gradual changes in industry structure and the institutional environment in home markets as well as global markets. The strategic change converts diversified conglomerates to global specialists in narrower niche markets. It brings them in direct confrontation with a small number of key competitors operating worldwide. On this stage, key competitive advantages are gained by making best use of resources across the world, and by effective global integration of operations. Hence de-diversification and internationalization are opposite sides of the same coin: globalfocusing. The argument is developed based on inductive case research of the restructuring in two Danish manufacturing enterprises, and a review of overall trends in Danish businesses. On this basis, I analyze the economic and institutional forces driving this process, and suggest propositions for empirical testing. The paper points to consequences of liberalization, and is thus of high relevance for managers and policy makers in countries that are not yet as open as Denmark.
|Place of Publication||København|
|Number of pages||39|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|