Volkswagen and Tata Motors: A Strategic Alliance in India (HBS)

Students will write a paper of 10-20 pages (1.5 spaces, font 12) in which they analyze the case through the topics discussed in the course. The analyses presented in the paper will be related to the case assigned. Using the concepts and frameworks from the class, students should examine the case from the perspective the manager in the case to determine how well he is conducting the basic tasks of management (planning, organizing, leading and controlling) in an international setting. You should also use specific examples from the case and refer to page numbers.

Students should examine the industry and determine the level of globalization that exists in the industry; that is, is the industry essentially a multidomestic industry, a simple global industry or a complex global industry. What are the factors that are supporting the move towards globalization of the industry? Are there activities or aspects of products/services that can be standardized or may be subject to economies of scale/scope? What are the factors that are supporting the localization of the industry? Are there activities or aspects of the product/service that must be customized to meet local tastes and preferences?   Keep in mind that relative importance of each of these factors should be determined by the value proposition of the customers to whom the company is attempting to sell its products/services. Be sure to also examine the institutional factors (e.g. government (laws and regulations, ect.), social/demographic (demographics, national culture, ect.), national economy (level of development, growth rate, ect.), ect.) when considering the factors affecting the globalization process and the impact on the customer’s value proposition.

Next the student should examine the position of the company in terms of how it defines its international management strategy (plan); that is, does the company approach the industry as a multidomestic, simple global or complex global company? How well does the AAA (Aggregation, Arbitrage, Adaptation) strategic approach or combination of AAA strategies chosen by the company/manager fit the industry environment you described above?

Given its chosen AAA strategy or strategies, also determine how well the manger/managers have organized the company. In doing so, the students should consider among other factors the following issues. What are the value chain activities that the company has globalized and what activities have they left to local country management/markets? What is the set of structure, processes and culture (or ethos orientation) that exists to support the company’s approach to the industry; that is, what capabilities has the organization developed and how do these help the company compete? Be sure to consider the company’s administrative heritage and its organizational ethos (culture and value orientation) when examining the capabilities that the company possesses.

The student should also examine the various modes of entry (organic growth, merger/acquisition or strategic alliances through IJV, for example) and how these have enhanced or inhibited the company’s success in international management. If the company has entered through an IJV it would be important to assess the role of the partner companies in setting up the IJV in terms of what they expect from the IJV and what they have committed in terms of resources. If the company entered through a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) it would be important to assess the role of the headquarters company in setting up the WOS in terms of expectations and resource commitments. The students should also recognize that the focal organization is the IJV/WOS itself, and what its role is relative to the parent company or companies (e.g. is the IJV/WOS to only sell within the country; make and sell within a country or sell/make inside and outside the country).

As part of your assessment of the entry mode and the relationship between the headquarters and subsidiary unit, you should examine  what corporate architectural capabilities have been developed in order to coordinate and enhance the business strategic capabilities needed to meet the customer’s value proposition? How well do the corporate architectural capabilities support the company’s chosen AAA strategy/strategies?

The student should then evaluate how well the company has matched the industry environment in terms of the management approach and capabilities that the company has; that is, how well are the manager/managers fulfilling their control tasks? In this section the student should use the analyses of the industry in terms of how global it is and how well the company has matched that “globalness” with its own AAA management approach and various organizational capabilities and determine what recommendations should be given to the company to improve its position. With this case, evaluate how well the two parent companies have done in managing and evaluate their respective strategies; that is, how well each company’s value chain decisions have met the value proposition of their customers and determine recommendations for what each company should do next?

You should use the concepts and frameworks that we discussed in the cases in the class and from the articles from academic and business publications that we used to inform your analyses for this case and try to apply any and all of the sub-topics areas of the course that are relevant to understand the issues raised in the case.

The purpose of this exercise is to provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate how well you have come to know the various concepts and frameworks presented in the course and to encourage you to make connections between the cases and readings and your own observations of a real organization. The concepts and theories we cover in the class cases or readings should inform the analyses with references to cases and discussions in class that are relevant to this final case and the writing should be clear and correct.

The paper should also be paginated (include page numbers) and include a bibliography and proper annotation (e.g. footnotes or endnotes) and can include figures, table or other graphical information in separate appendices. As well as content, I evaluate the quality of writing and presentation, the use of examples, and correctness of spelling and grammatical usage in assigning a grade.

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