Global Strategic Management
Today's successful business executives know how to design and implement a global strategy, manage a highly diverse organization, optimize finance in a complex and volatile economy, and build a strong leadership culture. Harvard Business School (HBS) now offers an Executive Education program that helps executives expand their range and skills. Taking a cross-functional approach to global business management, this program prepares you to respond quickly to a challenging economic environment, take advantage of emerging opportunities, and put in place processes, people, and systems around the world that will deliver optimal results.
Balancing strategic insight with proven management frameworks, the program examines competitive advantage, government and economic changes, global reach, and strategic agility from the perspective of successful business leaders. You will return to your organization ready to accurately assess a situation, skillfully tackle new challenges, and identify risks worth taking.
Designed for senior decision makers with significant responsibility for global business management at established multinational firms, this leadership training program is appropriate for corporate global strategists, business unit managers, country managers, or executives preparing for these roles. Individuals and teams are encouraged to attend.
What You Can Expect
Improving Your Organization's Performance
Achieving competitive advantage in a global marketplace requires leadership with broad perspectives and capabilities. Both within and across borders, organizations must be able to assess complex business situations, identify new opportunities, and respond effectively and creatively to today's challenging economic climate.
Focused on the needs of the general manager, this program explores how strong global leadership can impact a range of functions including finance, talent management, and marketing. Through case studies and in-depth discussions, you will examine how today's most successful global leaders develop and implement their strategies.
Taking Your Skills to the Next Level
Whether you are a seasoned global executive or an up-and-coming leader in general management, you will return with the frameworks and strategic insights necessary to drive your business forward with renewed confidence. Specifically, you will be better prepared to:
- Understand the elements of a successful global strategy
- Select appropriate countries and markets for your business
- Incorporate geographic, institutional, and cultural considerations in finance and labor strategies
- Optimize finance globally in a rapidly changing economy
- Create the best organizational alignment for your global business
- Know when and how to adapt products and services for new geographies
- Formulate strategies that recognize and mitigate political risk
- Foster cross-company collaboration and leadership to enable global business success
"The program was stimulating, engaging, and thought provoking. In a very short time, it imparted a lot of practical knowledge that can be applied immediately. You will gain an enormous amount of insight in one week that will stick with you for a lifetime."
Zuheir Shahwan [Director], Global Commercial Operations, Eli Lilly, U.S.
Your Course of Study
This Executive Education program takes a broad, cross-functional approach to global strategy while exploring key issues in depth. The comprehensive curriculum blends diverse areas to touch on all aspects of running a global business—from organizational structure, leadership, finance, and talent management issues.
In a dynamic exchange with interdisciplinary faculty and a global group of peers, you will examine a wide range of situations faced by businesses around the world. Developing your strategic decision-making skills through case studies, classroom discussions, and small group exercises, you will return with a comprehensive understanding of global strategy and the ability to meet new challenges with decisive action. Topics include:
Defining Global Strategy and Creating a Global Organization
- Recognizing when a company's competitive advantage can be leveraged more effectively on a global playing field
- Determining the extent to which the company should be globally diversified in its businesses and markets
- Evaluating which strategic activities to own and which to execute through alliances or outsourcing
- Deciding how the organization and its incentive system can best support specific global strategy choices
Mitigating Political and Financial Risk
- Learning how other companies have dealt successfully with host-country political risk and why some strategies continue to fail
- Responding nimbly to changes in the financial environment, optimizing financial strategy in a global recession, and preparing to adjust strategy quickly when the economy rebounds
- Preparing your organization to respond to governmental change
Developing the Qualities of a Global Leader
- Fostering a common language and a shared sense of community across multinational business units
- Employing best practices in global talent management and leadership development
- Understanding the specific challenges facing you as a global business leader
- Assessing your performance and developing your global leadership skills over time
Addressing the Challenges of Institutional Distance
- Taking into account the role of institutional and economic distance factors in selecting markets to enter
- Identifying the role played by institutional distance when evaluating company or business line performance
Managing Country Selection
- Choosing which distance types to consider based on the company's business, geography, and value proposition
- Weighing political risk factors before entering a market
- Applying the right criteria in deciding whether and when to exit
Responding to—or Ignoring—Country Differences
- Calibrating the optimal level of product and market adaptation
- Recognizing when not to adapt products and services, and when to group countries and regions together based on common distance factors
- Knowing when and how to keep a standardized core of product architecture and company management practices
- Understanding when to adapt on the edges to achieve economies of scale and access to different sets of foreign consumers
Leveraging Labor Arbitrage
- Understanding the conditions under which it makes sense to tap into diverse labor pools around the globe
- Knowing when labor arbitrage can be an enduring source of competitive advantage and understanding when the value is likely to go to zero based on imitation or changes in market barriers
Implementing Transfer Pricing and Financial Policy Inside the Multinational Firm
- Examining how best to design and implement an internal market of prices within the global organization
- Understanding how tax differences and variation in countries' financial systems affect the finance function of a global multinational business
Who Is Right for the Program
Global Strategic Management is designed for senior decision makers with significant responsibility for global operations at established multinational business organizations. This HBS Executive Education program is especially appropriate for corporate global strategists, business unit managers, country managers, or individuals preparing to step into one of these positions.
While the program focuses on the general management challenges of larger multinational businesses, this broad perspective also benefits executives in functional roles with extensive multinational responsibilities in global marketing, manufacturing, legal, or finance. Given the intensely collaborative nature of global management, companies are invited to send individuals and teams.
Participants will include executives from a wide range of industries, countries, and cultures, who represent companies that have been doing business globally for decades as well as those that are expanding their global presence. The group's diversity will create a highly stimulating exchange of ideas and expand each participant's worldview.
Typical participant titles include:
- Business unit manager
- Chief executive officer
- Chief marketing officer or vice president, global marketing
- Country manager
- Director, strategy and global business development
- Executive vice president, international
- Managing director
Past Participants Represented:
|6%||High Technology||2%||Middle East|
Meet the Program Faculty
Like all Harvard Business School Executive Education programs, Global Strategic Management is developed and taught by a core faculty of HBS professors. Our faculty members are widely recognized for being skilled educators, groundbreaking researchers, and award-winning authors.
Through publishing, consulting, and teaching, they leverage their business expertise and field research to create new knowledge and enduring concepts that shape the practice of management. The result is a teaching team that exposes participants to multiple perspectives, challenging their thinking and encouraging new practices that result in superior business leadership. For more detailed biographies, click on each faculty name.
Rawi Abdelal, Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration. Chair, MBA Required Curriculum; faculty associate of Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; member of the Business, Government and the International Economy Unit; member of the executive committee of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies; and faculty cochair of the "Global Energy Seminar."
David J. Collis, Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Adjunct Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Strategy Unit; and faculty chair of "Corporate Level Strategy."
Mihir A. Desai, Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance. Senior Associate Dean, Planning and University Affairs. Member of the Finance and Entrepreneurial Management Units.
Tsedal Neeley, Assistant Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Organizational Behavior Unit.
Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration. Chair, MBA Global; member of the Strategy Unit; faculty chair of "Strategy: Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage"; and faculty cochair of "Senior Executive Program for China," "Effective Strategies for Media Companies," and "Intellectual Property Strategy."
Jordan I. Siegel, Associate Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Strategy Unit; and faculty chair of "Global Strategic Management."
Because a diverse participant mix is an important part of every HBS Executive Education program, we look for candidates who reflect a broad range of industries, functions, countries, and backgrounds to enrich the learning experience.
Fees, Payments, and Cancellations
The program fee covers tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals.
No payment is necessary until you have been accepted into an HBS Executive Education program. After admission notification, we will send you an invoice via email; payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date. If admission is within 30 days prior to the start of the program, payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. Payment is required prior to the program start date. We accept payment by company check, bank wire transfer, or credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa). Details are included on the program invoice.
If you need to cancel or defer participation, you must submit your request in writing more than 30 days before the start of the program to receive a full refund. Due to program demand and the volume of preprogram preparation, cancellations or deferrals received 14 to 30 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of one-half of the program fee. Requests received within 14 days are subject to full payment.
Although there are no formal educational requirements, admission is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential.
HBS Executive Education programs enrich both participants and their sponsoring organizations, and require full commitment from each party. While participants devote time and intellect to the learning experience, sponsoring organizations agree to relieve individuals of their work responsibilities during the program.
We deliberately design our programs to encourage individual growth and to foster productive interaction among participants. For that reason, proficiency in written and spoken English is essential. If English is your second language, or if you have less than one year's experience working in an English-speaking environment, HBS requires a brief statement documenting proficiency in English-language skills, both conversational and written. This may include a list of the English-language certification programs that you have completed; the degrees you have earned at English-speaking colleges and universities; or the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. The Admissions Committee also may request a telephone interview.
This program is appropriate for individuals as well as teams of executives from the same organization. When colleagues attend a program together, the organization benefits from their shared knowledge and common vision. This, in turn, enables participants to enhance their ability to pursue business goals as a team, effect critical transformations, and transfer knowledge. HBS client service specialists are available to advise on optimal team composition. The application for each team member must be received before the team's materials are reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
Program participants must be nominated and sponsored by their current employer. HBS must receive your application and all required documents in order to prepare the application for review by the Admissions Committee.
If you submit your application online, we will promptly acknowledge receipt of your submission via email. In the unlikely event that an email acknowledgment is not received, please contact the Admissions Committee by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +1-617-495-6226, or fax: +1-617-496-1731.
If you choose to submit a printed application, be sure to type or print legibly and sign your application. Send the application to the address or fax number listed on the form. Mailed or faxed applications are processed and acknowledged promptly upon receipt via email.
Complete Your Application
Please answer all questions thoroughly—the Admissions Committee will consider only completed applications. After reviewing your application and making the necessary edits or corrections, print or copy the application for your records.
The application for each team member must be received before the team's materials are reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
Meet the Deadlines
We request applications at least four weeks in advance of the program start date. Early application does not guarantee admission. Programs often fill to capacity, so early application is recommended.
Notification of Acceptance
We acknowledge receipt of all applications and maintain all application information in strict confidentiality.
To optimize the learning experience and maximize the exchange of ideas, the Admissions Committee selects a class that balances each participant's experience, the scope of his or her current responsibilities, and the type of organization.
The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications four months before the start date, and qualified candidates are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. Once the review process has begun, applicants are notified within three weeks via email regarding Admissions Committee decisions. If your application is received within three weeks of the program's start date, the Admissions Committee will notify you of their decision as soon as possible.
For further assistance, contact our client service specialists at: 1-800-427-5577 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-495-6555).