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RESEARCH-BASED PROJECT TITLE: The Impact of Globalisation on Multinational Corporations and their Global Strategies: A Case Study on Amazon

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University of Hertfordshire Business School
Programme Title>
The Impact of Globalisation on Multinational Corporations and their Global Strategies: A Case Study on Amazon
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Acknowledgements
Abstract
Globalisation, driven on account of advancements spanning technology, communication, and transportation, has led to the dismantling of conventional ba
iers in trade as well as investment, opening newer horizons concerning businesses for exploring international markets. In case of MNCs, the same presents challenges as well as opportunities. In one context, globalisation exposes companies towards heightened levels of competition, cultural differences, and regulatory complexities spanning markets. In another context, the same offers access towards large consumer bases, economies-of-scale, as well as opportunities to benefit from strategic partnerships, alliances and other collaborations. Amazon can be noted in having diversified its service portfolio over the years, expanding into digital streaming, cloud computing, logistics, and AI amongst other sectors. The success of Amazon underscores the overall significance concerning the formulation of effective form of global strategies for achieving and sustaining competitive advantage within an interconnected world. This research was undertaken to explore and analyse the impacts caused by globalisation over the operations and strategies concerning MNCs by specifically focussing on Amazon for understanding the ways in which MNCs adapt as well as thrive within globalised business environments. This research investigated the ways in which globalisation affects the business strategies employed by MNCs, identified operational challenges and opportunities that Amazon faces as part of global expansion efforts, and evaluated the effectiveness concerning global strategies employed by Amazon to achieve competitive advantage. This research successfully employed SLR, case study and qualitative analysis to address the research questions. The analysis, findings and outcomes of this study are presented in this report comprehensively.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements    i
Abstract    ii
1    Introduction    1
1.1    Introduction    1
1.2    Background    2
1.3    Justification of the Study    3
1.4    Research Aim    5
1.5    Research Objectives    5
1.6    Research Questions    6
1.7    Structure    6
1.8    Summary    7
2    Literature Review    9
2.1    Introduction    9
2.2    Globalisation and Business Strategies of MNCs    9
2.3    Global Expansion    11
2.3.1    Global Expansion: Operational Challenges    12
2.3.2    Global Expansion: Opportunities    13
2.4    Competitive Advantages    14
2.5    Conceptual Framework    17
2.6    Literature Gap and Summary    19
3    Research Methodology    21
3.1    Introduction    21
3.2    Research Philosophy    22
3.3    Research Approach    23
3.4    Research Method    24
3.5    Research Strategy    25
3.6    Data Collection Method and Process    26
3.7    Data Analysis    30
3.8    Limitations    31
3.9    Ethical Considerations    32
3.10    Summary    32
4    Data Findings and Analysis    33
4.1    Introduction    33
4.2    Case Study on Amazon    33
4.2.1    Background    33
4.2.2    Impacts from Globalisation on Amazon    35
4.2.3    Strategies to Adapt and Thrive    37
4.2.4    Summary    38
4.3    Research Objective #1: Investigation of the Ways in Which Globalisation Affects the Business Strategies Employed by MNCs    39
4.3.1    Market Expansion & Entry Strategy    39
4.3.2    Optimisation in Supply Chain    40
4.3.3    Competitive Positioning    40
4.3.4    Adoption of Innovation & Technology    40
4.3.5    Risk Management & Regulatory Compliance    41
4.3.6    Summary    42
4.4    Research Objective #2: Identification of Operational Challenges and Opportunities that Amazon Faces as Part of Global Expansion Efforts    42
4.4.1    Challenges    42
4.4.2    Opportunities    44
4.4.3    Summary    46
4.5    Research Objective #3: Evaluation of the Effectiveness Concerning Global Strategies Employed by Amazon to Achieve Competitive Advantage    46
4.5.1    Traversing Complex Global Business Environments & Globalisation Structures    47
4.5.2    Managing Challenges and Leveraging Opportunities of Global Business    47
4.5.3    Integrating Suitable Strategies for Achieving Competitive Advantages    48
4.5.4    Effectiveness of Amazon's Global Strategies    48
4.6    Discussion on Findings    49
4.7 Recommendations to MNCs based on Amazon’s Experience    49
4.7.1    Adaptability in Complex Environments    50
4.7.2    Strategically Managing Challenges & Opportunities    50
4.7.3    Strategically Integrating for Competitive Advantage    50
4.7.4    Em
acing Technology & Technology    51
4.7.5    Building Flexibility & Resilience    51
4.7.6    Summary    51
4.8    Summary    52
5    Conclusion and Recommendations    55
5.1    Conclusion    55
5.2    Recommendations    58
5.3    Limitations    59
5.4    Future Research    60
6.    Reflection    60
References    64
Appendices    70
Appendix 1 - Research Proposal    70
Appendix 2 - Research-based Project Log    71
Appendix 3 - Signed Secondary Declaration Form    76
List of Tables
· Table 1 – SLR Data Collection Process                    26
List of Figures
· Figure 1 – Conceptual Framework                        18
· Figure 2 – The Research Onion                         21
· Figure 3 – Gi
’s Reflective Cycle                        55
1 Introduction
1.1 Introduction
Within the specific context of global economy and business that is increasingly interconnected, characterised with rapid flow in goods/services, capital as well as information beyond borders, the overall globalisation phenomenon can be noted to have emerged in being the defining force which shapes the operations and strategies concerning multinational corporations (MNCs) (Ve
eke et al., 2018; Wheelen et al., 2018). In the globalisation era, driven on account of technological advancements as well as liberalisation of trade policies, there is an ushering of newer business paradigm, wherein geographical boundaries can be noted to have become increasingly porous, as well as opportunities concerning international expansion are high (Ve
eke et al., 2018; Wheelen et al., 2018).
In the stated dynamic form of landscape, it can be noted that MNCs occupy role that is central, acting as critical drivers for economic integration globally and agents for change across diverse industries (Hamilton and Webster, 2018; Shenkar et al., 2021). With MNCs expanding their presence beyond multiple markets, these corporations are confronting myriad set of challenges as well as opportunities that are inherent within the navigation of the complexities concerning business environments globally. From that of adapting towards diverse set of regulatory frameworks and cultural norms for optimising supply chain related networks and management of geopolitical risk factors, MNCs need to continuously evolve the strategies for thriving within global marketplace that is ever-changing (Hamilton and Webster, 2018; Shenkar et al., 2021). The study is important for describing the impact of globalization on MNCs. This study focuses on Amazon company including describing about challenges, opportunities and strategies that are implemented for competing in globalized markets. It highlights requirement of effective global strategies for competitive advantage in interconnected economies. The study has used systematic literature review, case study analysis and qualitative methods for exploring and analysing effectiveness of globalization on MNCs. It provides the insights for adaptation and success in globalized business environments of Amazon.
1.2 Background
Globalisation, driven on account of advancements spanning technology, communication, and transportation, has led to the dismantling of conventional ba
iers in trade as well as investment, opening newer horizons concerning businesses for exploring international markets (Babenko et al., 2019; Lawrence and Weber, 2020). In case of MNCs, the same presents challenges as well as opportunities. In one context, globalisation exposes companies towards heightened levels of competition, cultural differences, and regulatory complexities spanning markets. In another context, the same offers access towards large consumer bases, economies-of-scale, as well as opportunities to benefit from strategic partnerships, alliances and other collaborations (Babenko et al., 2019; Lawrence and Weber, 2020).
Amazon was founded in the year 1994 by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore, and the company rapidly expanded the offerings for becoming the largest online retailer globally (Brevini and Swiatek, 2020; Ernst and Haar, 2019). In the course of subsequent years, Amazon can be noted in having diversified its service portfolio, expanding into digital streaming, cloud computing, logistics, and artificial intelligence (AI) amongst other sectors. The said expansion of remarkable nature at Amazon are fuelled by relentless pursuit for innovation, strategic vision, and customer-centric approach for capitalising over the opportunities which are presented from globalisation (Brevini and Swiatek, 2020; Ernst and Haar, 2019).
With Amazon continuing its expansion of its footprint at the global scale, the company is exposed to myriad operational challenges as well as strategic decisions in many contexts (Brevini and Swiatek, 2020; Ernst and Haar, 2019). In terms of navigating logistical complexities and regulatory frameworks towards adapting of business model for diverse cultural settings, the journey of Amazon exemplifies complexities which are inherent within the operation of global entity. In addition, the success of Amazon underscores the overall significance concerning the formulation of effective form of global strategies for achieving and sustaining competitive advantage within an interconnected world (Brevini and Swiatek, 2020; Ernst and Haar, 2019).
1.3 Justification of the Study
Globalisation has led to fundamental alteration of the global business landscape, affecting MNCs in all of the industries (Punathambekar and Mohan, 2019; Cusumano et al., 2019). In terms of increasing interconnectedness across markets, developing an understanding of the implications concerning globalisation on MNCs can be crucial in terms of their survival as well as growth. In terms of focusing over Amazon, which is an MNC that is globally renowned, this research strives in providing insights on ways in which globalisation has an` influence on operational dynamics, competitive positioning, and business strategies (Punathambekar and Mohan, 2019; Cusumano et al., 2019).
This research strives in providing practical insights which can aid MNCs for navigating varied challenges as well as opportunities as presented by globalisation. In the manner of investigating ways in which Amazon adapts as well as thrives in the globalised business environments, this study has the potential for offering valuable lessons as well as best practices which are applicable for other MNCs (Punathambekar and Mohan, 2019; Cusumano et al., 2019). The same has significant relevance among corporate executives, stakeholders, and policymakers, who are involved in business operations globally.
The prominence of Amazon in the form of global player essentially makes it a perfect case study to examine the impacts from globalization over MNCs. In terms of operations covering different industries and countries, Amazon faces wide-ranging and diverse challenges as well as opportunities across its various efforts relating to global expansion. Analysis of Amazon's decisions, strategies and business outcomes can offer strong insights on the complexities pertaining to global markets operations.
This research will contribute towards an academic understanding on the ways in which MNCs undertake navigation of globalisation and adapting their strategies in a suitable manner. By way of addressing critical research questions linked with operational challenges, strategic form of decision-making, and the global strategies effectiveness, this study fills effectiveness the gaps within prevailing literature as well as advances academic knowledge within international business management domain.
The findings from this research has the capability for informing strategic decision-making among business leaders who are involved with respect to the initiatives of global expansion. Understanding varied factors which drive success/failure across global markets, in the manner illustrated from Amazon's experiences, could aid MNCs in formulating highly effective strategies, mitigating risks, and capitalising emerging opportunities (Punathambekar and Mohan, 2019; Cusumano et al., 2019).
In essence, undertaking research over the impacts from globalisation over MNCs, having specific focus over Amazon, can be justified on account of the practical implications, relevance, academic contributions, and overall significance concerning Amazon used as case study. This research will offer actionable insights with a potential for benefitting MNCs, academic researchers, and policymakers alike, essentially leading to the enhancement of understanding as well as effectiveness for navigating complexities in business environments globally.
1.4 Research Aim
The aim of this research is to undertake exploration and analysis of the impacts caused by globalisation over the operations and strategies concerning MNCs by specifically focussing on Amazon for understanding the ways in which MNCs adapt as well as thrive within globalised business environments.
1.5 Research Objectives
The research objectives are as follows,
· Investigation of the ways in which globalisation affects the business strategies employed by MNCs.
· Identification of operational challenges and opportunities that Amazon faces as part of global expansion efforts.
· Evaluation of the effectiveness concerning global strategies employed by Amazon to achieve competitive advantage.
1.6 Research Questions
The research questions are as follows,
· How has globalisation affected the process of strategic decision-making at MNCs with a specific focus on Amazon?
· What are the key operational-level challenges as well as opportunities faced by Amazon as part of its global expansion efforts, and what has the company done to address them?
· What is the effectiveness of global strategies employed by Amazon to maintain its competitive advantage within the global market, and identify insights that can be useful in case of other MNCs?
This research will be undertaken as a qualitative research method using structured literature review (SLR), case study method, and qualitative analysis for data collection and analysis to address the research outcomes.
1.7 Structure
The structure of this dissertation report will be as follows:
· Introduction: This chapter offers introduction and background to the research context, presenting specific aim, objectives, and research questions, and justification for undertaking this research.
· Literature Review: This chapter presents comprehensive review, analysis, and synthesis of relevant concepts, theories, and past findings in literature relating to globalisation, business strategies and expansion efforts employed by MNCs, and competitive advantages, and presenting a suitable conceptual framework for this research along with the literature gap.
· Research Methodology: This chapter presents specification of clear methods, tools and techniques for undertaking the research in a comprehensive manner with justification. The methodology includes use of Research Onion framework that can help in development of research process. The study includes implementation of secondary research method and information are gathered from secondary resources like website, journals and articles.
· Data Findings and Analysis: This chapter offers critical analysis and discussion of the data collected addressing each of the research questions, and reaching outcomes for this research.
· Conclusion and Recommendations: This chapter provides overall summary of dissertation in terms of the research basis, methods used, outcomes/findings reached, and also presents recommendations and limitations of the study.
The above structure is structured/designed to effectively communicate the overall research, research process, and outcomes/findings in a clear, logical, and easily understandable format without affecting the academic rigour and formality of the content.
1.8 Summary
The aim of this research is to undertake exploration and analysis of the impacts caused by globalisation over the operations and strategies concerning MNCs by specifically focussing on Amazon for understanding the ways in which MNCs adapt as well as thrive within globalised business environments. Specifically, this research will entail investigation of the ways in which globalisation affects the business strategies employed by MNCs, identification of operational challenges and opportunities that Amazon faces as part of global expansion efforts, and evaluation of the effectiveness concerning global strategies employed by Amazon to achieve competitive advantage. Undertaking of this research is justified on account of the practical implications, relevance, academic contributions, and overall significance concerning Amazon used as case study. This research will offer actionable insights with a potential for benefitting MNCs, academic researchers, and policymakers alike, essentially leading to the enhancement of understanding as well as effectiveness for navigating complexities in business environments globally. The logical structure used for presenting the dissertation was also discussed and presented in this chapter.
2 Literature Review
2.1 Introduction
The scope and content of this chapter covers comprehensive review, analysis, and synthesis of relevant concepts, theories, and past findings in literature relating to globalisation, business strategies and expansion efforts employed by MNCs, and competitive advantages, and presenting a suitable conceptual framework for this research along with the literature gap. The relevant literature for this review was identified using suitable key words pertaining to the research context and searching them in academic database for relevant literature. The relevant keywords for the research include Amazon, Globalization, Operational Challenges, Global expansion and Competitive Advantages. These keywords are obtained from academic database, search engine and exploring related researches.
2.2 Globalisation and Business Strategies of MNCs
Globalisation within the business context refers to the process in which businesses develop global influence or else start operation on a global scale (Dabic et al. 2021; Pekarskiene et al. 2019). The same represents an intricate phenomenon which entails an increasing levels of integration and interaction of companies, governments, and people worldwide. The globalisation process can be noted to be facilitated on account of advances across domains like communication, technology, transportation, and deregulation, and these advancements have essentially made it suitable for organisation to access resources, talent, and markets globally (Dabic et al. 2021; Pekarskiene et al. 2019).
Globalisation has an impact on business strategies in the manner employed by MNCs like market expansion, optimisation of supply chains, cultural sensitivity/localisation, knowledge transfer and innovation, corporate governance and regulatory compliance, strategic alliances and competition, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) (Dabic et al. 2021; Pekarskiene et al. 2019).
Globalisation aids MNCs for entering newer markets and reaching customers across the globe. The same does not just lead to increases in customer base and in addition aids in the diversification of market risks (Brennan et al. 2018; Collinson et al. 2020). On account of the same, MNCs usually undertake market penetration as well as development strategies across their global operations. The global-level integration in markets enable MNCs for optimising their respective supply chains in the manner of raw materials/labour sourcing by way of locations wherein they can be cheaper or else be available more efficiently (Brennan et al. 2018; Collinson et al. 2020).
Operating across multiple countries necessitates MNCs for being culturally sensitive as well as for adapting their products/services and also marketing strategies for local tastes/preferences (Brennan et al. 2018; Collinson et al. 2020). The same usually entails localisation strategies for making sure product acceptance and fit across diverse markets. Globalisation aids in the fostering of innovation with the exposure of MNCs towards newer ideas, business practices, and technologies from across the globe (Brennan et al. 2018; Collinson et al. 2020).
MNCs need to navigate highly intricate network of governance structures and regulations spanning different nations. This needs strategies which make sure compliance towards local laws as well as global standards, inclusive of tax codes, labour laws, and environmental (Taylor and Andreosso-O’Callaghan 2016; Hanson et al. 2016). Globalisation leads to increases in competition on account of companies competing not just amongst local businesses but against other MNCs in the global level. Such competitive scenario results in strategies that are focused over cost leadership, differentiation, and strategic alliances/partnerships for enhancing market positioning and competitiveness (Taylor and Andreosso-O’Callaghan 2016; Hanson et al. 2016). Globalisation encompasses heightened level of awareness concerning social/environmental issues, causing consumers for expecting MNCs in operating responsibly. On account of the same, MNCs integrate sustainability and CSR as part of business strategies for meeting stakeholder expectations as well as for complying to global standards (Podrug et al. 2016).
In essence, globalisation has a significant impact on the ways in which MNCs design and execute business strategies. The same needs them in being highly responsive, flexible, and innovative for the global market dynamics. MNCs are required to effectively balance global-level integration and local responsiveness, comply wide-ranging regulatory environments, adapt with cultural differences and meet global challenges concerning CSR and sustainability.
2.3 Global Expansion
Global expansion concerns efforts undertaken by MNCs for entering and establishing their market presence beyond their respective home countries (Kah et al. 2022; Iqbal et al. 2018). The said process entails wide-ranging activities inclusive of franchising, licensing, exporting, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and wholly-owned subsidiaries. In this context, the key goal lies in tapping newer markets, accessing resources, diversifying business risk, as well as capitalising over growth opportunities for enhancing profitability and competitiveness (Kah et al. 2022; Iqbal et al. 2018).
Whilst global expansion offers significant levels of operational challenges, the same in addition provides substantial level of opportunities to MNCs desiring to navigate the complexities. An overall success with respect to global expansion needs effective form of strategic planning, strong risk management, cultural sensitivity, and adaptability towards dynamic form of global business environment.
2.3.1 Global Expansion: Operational Challenges
The key operational challenges while undertaking global expansion by MNCs like Amazon spans cultural differences, regulatory compliances, complexity in supply chain, cu
ency fluctuations, political/economic instability, and protection of intellectual properties.
Navigation of cultural nuances as well as customising business practices for alignment with local consumer preferences, communication styles, and customs could be very challenging for companies (Iammarino et al. 2018; Taglioni and Winkler 2016). Any misunderstanding in cultural aspects could result in failure of marketing strategies, ineffective customer reception, and inefficiencies in business operations. MNCs like Amazon are exposed to an intricate regulations network which can vary in a significant manner across different countries. The same includes taxation policies, labour laws, trade restrictions, and environmental regulations. Making sure compliance whilst also maintaining profitability needs effective legal planning and management (Iammarino et al. 2018; Taglioni and Winkler 2016).
Management of global-level supply chain entails managing transportation costs, logistical challenges, quality control, and lead times spanning varied geographies (Iammarino et al. 2018; Taglioni and Winkler 2016). Further, political instability, trade ba
iers, and tariffs can complicate organisation’s ability for managing supply chain. Volatility in exchange rate could affect pricing strategies, operational costs, and profitability. Hence, MNCs like Amazon need to effectively manage cu
ency risks by way of strategic planning and financial instruments for minimising adverse effects (Iammarino et al. 2018; Taglioni and Winkler 2016).
Economic downturns, political unrest, and changes across government policies could present significant levels of risks for MNCs that operate across foreign markets (Katsikeas et al. 2020; Hamilton and Webster 2018). The said factors could have an impact on ease for doing business, operational costs, and market demand. Making sure the overall protection of copyrights, trademarks, and patents could be highly challenging across countries with weaker laws for intellectual property or else weaker enforcement mechanisms. The same exposes MNCs towards counterfeiting and piracy risks (Katsikeas et al. 2020; Hamilton and Webster 2018).
2.3.2 Global Expansion: Opportunities
Expansion in newer markets provides a critical growth opportunity in the manner of accessing newer customer bases, specifically across emerging economies wherein market demand has been rapidly rising (López‐Duarte et al. 2016; Yoder et al. 2016). Operating at the level of global scale enables MNCs for achieving economies-of-scale in production/distribution/marketing, therein leading to cost reduction at per unit level and also enhancing competitiveness. Global expansion offers MNCs like Amazon by way of an access for valuable resources, inclusive of labour, raw materials, and technological innovations, which shall not be cost-effective or available within relevant home countries (López‐Duarte et al. 2016; Yoder et al. 2016).
Entering into diverse markets can aid MNCs for spreading business risks spanning varied political/economic environments, and reduction towards local downturn vulnerabilities (Tsang and Yamanoi 2016; Shenkar et al. 2021). Exposure towards varied markets as well as business practices can foster innovation and also enable MNCs for learning by way of varied operational frameworks, enhancing their
oader business strategies/offerings. Setting up global presence could lead to enhancements in
and recognition
eputation, and contributes towards longer-term business successes (Tsang and Yamanoi 2016; Shenkar et al. 2021).
2.4 Competitive Advantages
In the global business scenario, competitive advantage is the ability of MNCs for developing and maintaining an edge as compared to the competitors in a global scale (Gupta and Govindarajan 2017; Tien et al. 2019). The said advantage aids MNCs for generating greater value to the stakeholders by way of higher sales/margins as well as market share. The same is rooted over distinctive capabilities, positions, strategies, or resources which enable an organisation for outperforming rivals at a global level (Gupta and Govindarajan 2017; Tien et al. 2019).
Competitive advantage in global business provides an edge for the competitors and this will help in allowing providing better and higher profits. It is important for the company to get better margins along with better growth and repetitive customers. Apple is the company that focuses on maintain the standard worldwide. The global standardization strategy of Apple can help in ensuring consistency in product offerings worldwide. This enhances
and value and cost-effectiveness that includes economies of scale to enhance competitive advantage achieved through standardized global operations.
Competitive advantage could stem by way of varied sources, inclusive of differentiation, cost leadership, operational efficiency, innovation, quality, customer service, and
and strength. With respect to global businesses, attainment and sustainment of competitive advantage needs unique opportunities/challenges to be leveraged by way of operating in diverse markets (Gupta and Govindarajan 2017; Tien et al. 2019).
Global standardisation strategy entails the sale of standardised/same product across the globe by way of minimal adaptation across local markets (Tien and Ngoc 2019; Hitt et al. 2016). In this strategy, the aim lies in achieving cost leadership by way of economies-of-scale, benefiting on account of consistency in product production and distribution. Companies akin to Apple and Coca-Cola have employed the global standardisation strategy successfully, laying emphasis over product
and consistency across markets (Tien and Ngoc 2019; Hitt et al. 2016).
In contrast to global standardisation, localisation strategy focusses on tailoring of products/services and marketing strategies for fitting local preferences, tastes, and cultures (Tien and Ngoc 2019; Hitt et al. 2016). The said approach can result in differentiation as well as competitive edge in the manner of close alignment to customer needs across each market. McDonald can be noted to have adapted its menus for local tastes by employing localisation strategy (Tien and Ngoc 2019; Hitt et al. 2016).
Transnational strategy aims in balancing local responsiveness and global efficiency (Tien and Ngoc 2019; Hitt et al. 2016). MNCs which employ transnational strategy undertake business operations by way of flexible approach, integrating standardisation where it is feasible for achieving economies-of-scale whilst adapting for local markets in the manner necessary. Transnational strategy needs responsive and robust supply chain at a global scale, and also stronger local presence with respect to marketing as well as innovation. Nestlé provides wide-ranging global as well as local
ands, and this exemplifies the approach of transnational strategy (Tien and Ngoc 2019; Hitt et al. 2016).
MNCs which adopt an international strategy undertake leveraging of the company’s core competencies that are developed in home market and deploying them across foreign markets at minimal adaptation (Ilnytskyy et al. 2018; Alcácer et al. 2016). The strategy can be noted to be used often when competitive advantage is linked with proprietary products/services. The same is common across industries wherein the home base of organisation can be crucial for knowledge creation as well as innovation processes, like that of high-tech industries or specialised manufacturing (Ilnytskyy et al. 2018; Alcácer et al. 2016).
Forming partnerships or strategic alliances among international or local firms has the possibility for providing competitive advantages by way of market access, resource sharing, risk sharing, and technology exchange. The said collaborations could lead to enhancements in the ability of MNCs for entering newer markets, developing newer products, or improving efficiency (Ilnytskyy et al. 2018; Alcácer et al. 2016).
Acquiring or else merging with companies already existing across target markets or else undertaking direct investments for establishing newer operations has the possibility for quickly providing MNCs by way of competitive stronghold (Ilnytskyy et al. 2018; Alcácer et al. 2016). The said strategy could provide instant access with local market knowledge, customer bases, and distribution networks.
Investments across research and development (R&D) efforts for innovating products/services and processes could aid in the creation of significant levels of competitive advantage at a global level. MNCs which result in innovation could establish industry standards, ensure premium pricing, and attain higher level of customer loyalty (Kotabe and Kothari 2016; Li et al. 2017).
Using digital technologies for improvement of operations, business models, and customer experiences could offer effective competitive edge. The same entails the utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, digital marketing, and e-commerce platforms for optimising global operations as well as reaching customers in a more effective manner (Kotabe and Kothari 2016; Li et al. 2017).
In essence, achievement of competitive advantage across global business needs multifaceted approach which considers a unique form of dynamics across each market. Further, MNCs need to carefully identify and use global strategies for exploiting economies-of-scale, responding to local-level demands, innovating, and navigating the complexities in operations beyond borders. A successful strategy implementation aids MNCs for building and sustaining competitive advantages in global scale.
2.5 Conceptual Framework
On the basis of review and discussions presented in this literature review chapter, for undertaking a detailed research on Amazon focussing on the ways in which globalisation affects the business strategies employed by MNCs, identification of operational challenges and opportunities that Amazon faces as part of global expansion efforts, and evaluation of the effectiveness concerning global strategies employed by Amazon to achieve competitive advantage, the guiding elements include, (1) Traversing of complex global business environments and globalisation structures, that is, overall environment as well as contextual elements like rules
egulations/customs/standards pertaining to global business, (2) Managing challenges and leveraging opportunities of global business, that is, global business context is characterised by significant competitive challenges, various global economic and political factors, other challenges, but also various business development opportunities, and (3) Integrating suitable strategies for achieving competitive advantages, various strategies employed by businesses for entering and succeeding in global business (Tallman et al., 2018; Bouwens et al., 2017; Gupta and Govindarajan, 2017). Resource based view theory will be implemented that will focus on analysing capabilities, internal resources and getting information about competitive advantage. This will help in understanding internal resources and capabilities of Amazon along with knowledge of challenges and opportunities that are created because of globalization.
Figure 1 – Conceptual Framework
As per the proposed framework, the success of Amazon as a global business can be best understood on how Amazon managed structures and environments of global business, managing and leveraging challenges/opportunities, and employing global business strategies for achieving successful competitive advantage in a consistent manner. Strategic management framework should also be applied for identification of strength, weakness, opportunities and threats that are faced by Amazon. This is also important for understanding competitors and competitive forces that are developing the global market. It can help Amazon in making strategic decisions for ensuring better presence in the global market.
2.6 Literature Gap and Summary
This chapter provided a comprehensive review, analysis, and synthesis of relevant concepts, theories, and past findings in literature relating to globalisation, business strategies and expansion efforts employed by MNCs, and competitive advantages. While the review illustrated the presence of wide-ranging and numerous studies on global business and international strategies, specific studies on large and successful global business organisation like Amazon is not undertaken (Ghauri et al., 2020; Delen et al., 2018). A study focussed on the same will aid in gaining significant number of insights and knowledge relating to international business. Hence, undertaking exploration and analysis of the impacts caused by globalisation over the operations and strategies concerning MNCs by specifically focussing on Amazon for understanding the ways in which MNCs adapt as well as thrive within globalised business environments will be very effective and applicable in practical and academic context.
3 Research Methodology
3.1 Introduction
This chapter presents specification of clear research methods, tools and techniques for undertaking this research in a comprehensive manner for designing, collecting and analysing data with supporting justification.
The Research Onion, presented by Saunders et al. (2007) represents a comprehensive form of framework which illustrates the varied stages/layers entailed in a research process. The same offers structured approach to researchers for conceptualising and organising the design, methodology, and procedures for data collection in the research design. Research Onion encompasses six layers/stages, each of which represents varied stage or else aspect within research process, spanning
oader philosophical assumptions towards that of specific techniques for data collection.
Figure 2 – The Research Onion (Saunders et al., 2007)
3.2 Research Philosophy
Positivism represents a philosophical perspective in undertaking research which lays focus on the significance in the measurable and observable phenomena, and the same considers knowledge to be objectively derived by way of empirical observations as well as experimentation (Bell et al., 2022; Hair Jr et al., 2019). Positivists focus on research objectivity, striving to determine causal relationships and universal laws using systematic observations and measurements. Positivist research usually comprises employment of quantitative methods as well as strives in generalising findings spanning populations (Bell et al., 2022; Hair Jr et al., 2019). With respect to this research, using positivist approach can entail collection of quantitative data over impacts from globalisation on MNCs akin to Amazon, by using market share, financial metrics, or else statistical analyses spanning strategic decisions as well as their implications. Positivism usually prioritise quantitative data/empirical evidence, and the same may fail to capture complete complexity in the studied phenomenon.
Interpretivism, in...
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