Strategic flexibility and the emergence of virtual global strategies

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The aim of this article is to explore the rise of firms making a strategic virtue of virtuality. This trend underlines the increased diversity of internationalisation trajectories within the modern international economy where multinational companies (MNCs) use third parties in a “strategic” manner to support a stated value proposition. To highlight this diversity, the article identifies a particular strategic type: virtual global strategy.

    Design/methodology/approach – The article uses configural analysis to identify the particular strategic type of virtual global strategy. Based on the identification of this type, the article offers evidence from the corporate telecommunications market where this strategy has emerged.

    Findings – The evidence offered suggests there are limits to the strategic value of a virtual global strategy. Not only are the conditions for its existence rare, but also even in those sectors where it is feasible many firms will seek a degree of hybridity as there is still value in some degree of physical presence either at the regional or local level.

    Practical implications – The emergence of these innovative strategies challenges the understanding of the form and nature of internationalisation. Not only does it highlight that there is value in virtuality, but also challenges conventional understanding of the nature of commitment within host markets.

    Originality/value – The value of the article lies in understanding the increasingly diverse set of trajectories linked to internationalisation and the ability of firms to make a strategic virtue of virtuality within international markets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)272-286
    JournalEuropean Business Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


    • International business
    • Internationalization
    • Strategy
    • Telecommunications
    • Virtuality


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