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Long Range Planning

33/5 October 2000



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Charles Baden-Fuller Editorial

The Ranking of European Business Schools

Charles Baden-Fuller, Fabiola Ravazzolo and Tanja Schweizer Making and Measuring Reputations: The Research Ranking of European Business Schools. lrp@city.ac.uk

    Rankings of organisations mirror and create reputations. This article is about reputations and their exploitation, in the context of business school rankings. We set out to spotlight the European scene and present an exclusive ranking of the research activities of all business schools in Europe. Our ranking is based on work published in top quality international journals. The mission of business schools is not only to train managers and educate students, but it is also to develop the ideas, theories and evidence that will reshape management practice in the future. Europe needs strong business schools as one part of its overall strategy. Our top research schools are: London Business School, INSEAD, Tel Aviv, Warwick, Manchester, Cambridge, Erasmus University (NL), City (UK), Cranfield, the London School of Economics and the Stockholm School of Economics. We compare our rankings with those of other reputation makers, such as The Financial Times and national ranking schemes, and we find that our list is more robust and comprehensive.

Breaking into International Markets

Dovev Lavie and Avi Fiegenbaum Domestic firms Strategic Reactions to MNC's. avif@ie.technion.ac.il

    With the promise of regional peace brought about by political developments in the Middle East in the 1990s, Israeli firms found themselves in a radically changing environment, with multinational corporations (MNCs) making massive inroads into their long-standing domestic monopolies. Firstly, this article demonstrates how foreign MNC positioning has dominated that of their domestic counterparts. Secondly, we describe how this strategic dominance has triggered domestic firms into rethinking their strategies, and turned them into global players. The Israeli experience offers lessons for both foreign and domestic firms in how to develop economies better prepared for a win­win situation.

Ji Li, Gongming Qian, Kevin Lam and Dennis Wang Breaking into China. jili@hkbu.edu.hk

    International firms can adopt different strategies when breaking into an emerging market such as China. This article studies three strategic choices facing multinational corporations (MNCs): labour-intensive vs. capital- and technology-intensive; coastal vs inland location; and joint venture vs. wholly-owned investment. Using hierarchical regression analysis on data from 223 large, foreign-invested electronics firms in China, we offer interesting findings as to how and why different strategies affect the performance of foreign direct investment. We show that MNCs pursuing a capital- and technology-intensive strategy in China have a significantly better performance than those pursuing a labour-intensive strategy. Our study also documents significant interaction effects between ownership arrangements and technology intensity on firm performance. On the other hand, the effect of a firmıs location and ownership arrangements appear insignificant. To compete successfully in China today, firms cannot just focus on cheap labour and the production of low value-added goods; a capital- and technology-intensive strategy is more rewarding.

Bent Petersen, Denise E. Welch and Lawrence S. Welch Creating Meaningful Switching Options. bp.int@cbs.dk

    By entering foreign markets through the use of local operators or intermediaries, such as licensees and distributors, companies can reduce their risk exposure and the resource demands of internationalisation. However, at a later stage, the entrant firms may want to shift to a higher control mode perhaps a sales or production subsidiary. A difficult question, therefore, is how a company can create meaningful strategic options so as to facilitate a subsequent shift. In this article, issues surrounding the achievement of strategic flexibility in operation mode use are examined. A matrix is developed to illuminate the options of revealing or concealing future intentions regarding integration or the termination of a relationship with the foreign partner. A number of company cases are presented to illustrate the way in which these options may be created to facilitate a future shift from one operation mode to another within a foreign market.

Kulwant Singh and George Yip Strategic Lessons from the Asian Crisis. george.yip@jims.cam.ac.uk

    This article looks to the strategic opportunities provided by the recent Asian economic crisis. It suggests that whilst the crisis did require immediate responses, the longer-term issues were equally important. The authors look at different reactions to the crisis. They discuss a variety of strategies, including bargain hunting for assets and making strategic purchases whilst prices are low, forming new alliances to augment or supplant those that already exist, and expanding whilst competitors are weak. They embed their ideas into traditional strategic thinking, touching on issues of competence enhancement, competitor awareness and customer focus. They use topical examples to illustrate their points. Crises will reappear unexpectedly in countries and markets, demanding that firms revisit their strategies. This article provides a framework for thinking about these issues.

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