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Scenario Planning Cannot Be Used In International Strategy Development As It Takes Too Long, Costs Too Much And It Would Most Likely Lead To Wrong Strategic Choices

1823 words - 7 pages

International strategy involves expanding and managing business operations in multiple locations throughout a geographical region or the entire globe. By going global, an organisation intends to widen its customer base, achieve economies of scale, diversify macroeconomic risks, and acquire global business skills and competencies (Walsh 2005). Wether or not scenario planning should play a role in international strategy development is debatable. Scenario planning is a tool for helping organisations gain an insight into the future in an environment of great uncertainty and allows for management of strategic risks and opportunities. As Conway (2000) describes the process of scenario planning as integrating past and present information, while working with staff to interpret that information in order to explore future strategic possibilities for their organisation. The process involves creating and then considering, in depth, several varied scenarios of equally plausible futures with the objective to bring forward key external drivers of change likely to be critical for the organisation. Arguments for the use of scenario planning as part of the international development strategy are based around potential benefits to organisation including; prevention of costly surprises, quick response to change, encouragement of creative thinking, and provides a competitive advantage. In contrast is the argument that scenario planning should not be used in international strategy planning development on the basis that it is time consuming, costly, and may lead to wrong strategic choices. Through discussion of both arguments a better understanding into the usefulness of scenario planning in the international strategy development process can be obtained.One of the primary reasons for implementing an international strategy is that international markets yield potential new opportunities. The various international strategies that organisations may peruse include; localisation, with high pressures for local responsiveness and low pressure for cost reduction, internationalisation strategy, with low pressures for both local responsiveness and cost reduction, global standardisation strategy, with high pressure for cost reduction and low pressures for local responsiveness, trans-national strategy with high pressures for both local responsiveness and cost reductions (Hill, 2007). Organisations may use scenario planning as a means for selecting which international strategy is best aligned with organisational goals and objectives. Scenarios may provide organisations with thought-provoking and plausible stories about multiple ways that the future might unfold and the sorts of challenges and opportunities that it might pose for each different international strategy (Cork & Delaney 2007). There are 6 different levels at which scenario planning may take place these include: grand scenarios - which cover global issues such as political, legal, socio-cultural, and economic, regional...

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