Grappling for strategic agility during the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of the Russian subsidiary of a large multinational IT company
Purpose – This paper details the actions of the Russian subsidiary of a multinational IT company, during the COVID–19 pandemic, aimed towards the exploration and exploitation of unexpected business opportunities. It depicts the strategic and tactical actions of the subsidiary and corporate initiatives during the pandemic, revealing tensions between the subsidiary and its corporate parent on implementation of each’s initiatives.
Design/Methodology/Approach – A case study is presented, based on action research, using internal documents from the company under consideration, participation in various working meetings, meetings with customers, and interviews with subsidiary management.
Findings – The strategic actions implemented by the subsidiary during the pandemic exemplify strategic agility, i.e. a set of activities carried out by a company that create value in a turbulent and unpredictable environment which in turn require systematic variations in specific processes, products and structures. Some of those variations included the unauthorized amendment of internal corporate rules, leading to tensions between the subsidiary and parent company. This case illustrates that such parent-subsidiary tensions are an inevitable element of achieving agility at the subsidiary level, especially during rapid and unpredictable changes in the business environment.
Research limitations/implications – This study presents the flow of events in one multinational corporation subsidiary. However, we speculate that similar situations (subsidiary actions exploiting emergent business opportunities and which have been restricted by rigid internal corporate rules and regulations and low receptivity from corporate headquarters) occurred in many multinational corporation subsidiaries, aiming to explore and exploit nascent business opportunities in local markets during the pandemic.
Practical implications – The study confirms the necessity for the review of the functioning of the corporate immune system of large multinational corporations to allow more subsidiary initiatives to flourish than before the pandemic.
Originality – The paper presents a case of strategic agility at subsidiary level during the pandemic. It also uncovers the black-boxing managerial decision-making processes in headquarters-subsidiary relations during the extreme turbulence of business environment.
Strategic agility requires having a keen awareness of incipient trends, the ability to quickly make bold decisions, and knowing how to reconfigure business systems and redeploy resources. Strategic persistence is the ability to learn from an experiment, even if it takes a long time. Both are key features of HEM Ltd., a medium-size company based in Moscow that produces instruments, equipment, and materials used in medical laboratories. When HEM moved into the emerging ready-to-use biological culture market, these qualities enabled the firm to change its market focus, adjust its marketing mix, and develop innovative products through cooperative international alliances. Companies from developed countries looking for partners in emerging markets may want to consider organizations with these same characteristics.
Russian multinational enterprises (MNE) expanded widely in the late 1990s through the summer of 2008 at the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008. The emerging market MNEs have now become a subject of intensive study with a particular focus on the actions and behaviors of firms from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). This paper attempts to flesh out the reputational and corporate social responsibility (CSR) aspects of this internationalization process. The paper finds that in select cases the reputation of a Russia MNE does play a role in their activities and that these emergent firms recognize host country stakeholders as an audience for concern when conducting OFDI.
During the last two decades corporate international diversification became a widely used growth strategy. However, the majority of scientific researches insist on its value-destroying pattern. Those of them which were based on accounting studies’ methodology and used current performance measures are likely to make an incomplete evaluation of corporate performance by accounting either for operating performance or financial (cost of capital) effects of internationalization. The current paper proposes a new approach for estimation of internalization-performance relationship which is based on economic profit concept. It allows to control simultaneously both operating and financial effects of internationalization on the firms’ current performance. The proposed model has been empirically tested on a sample of large companies from one of emerging economies - Russia. The results identify a non-linear U-shape relationship between a degree of internationalization and companies’ residual income (economic profit). The relationship is mainly determined by operating performance effects on economic profit while cost of capital has a modest effect. Overall for the majority of companies international diversification refers to decrease in economic profit. The results are compared against the Q-Tobin measure which incorporates expectations about future performance. A joint analysis of current performance (economic profit) and long-term performance (Q-Tobin) allows to expect the internationalization benefits to be realized in future. As an implication of the present research for corporate decision makers it may be stated that at the initial level of international diversification the internationalization decisions should be made with a high degree of caution. There should be a clear internationalization strategy based on definite mechanisms of performance improvement. The prestige and other irrational motives which may lead to the value destruction should be pruned.
The extant literature acknowledges the role of overseas subsidiaries in the growth and development of multinational companies (MNCs). Such subsidiaries are viewed as critical players in the innovation process at MNCs. This topic remains largely underresearched in the Russian context. This study aims to fill this gap by examining the dynamics of the innovation process in Russianbased subsidiaries of global MNCs. We present qualitative findings that indicate Russian subsidiaries are not only recipients of knowledge and technology developed elsewhere in the MNCs.
This report presents the recent development of manufcaturing subsidiaries of multinational corporations in Russia and indicates some promising opportunities of their development.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.
портовый менеджмент, показатели деятельности, анализ эффективности, система учета, распределение издержек, методы анализа деятельности портовой системы
At present many industries reveal tendency for setting up of vertically integrated companies (VIC) the structure of which unites all technological processes. This tendency proved its efficiency in oil industry where coordination of all successive stages of technological process, namely, oil prospecting and production -oil transportation - oil processing - oil chemistry - oil products and oil chemicals marketing, is necessary. The article considers specific features of introduction of "personnel management" module at enterprises of oil and gas industry.
vertically integrated companies; personnel management