International Strategic Management: the role of the senior managers in Ghanaian International Companies

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As a result of current global developments in the market environment (i.e. g1obalization and advances in communication technology), strategic management has taken on a substantial international dimension. This has challenged companies to rethink their strategies, structure and most especially, the necessary competencies of managers for enhanced organizational performance. To this end, global managers need to be equipped with a wide range of flexible professional and multinational skills to be able to adapt and exploit new opportunities that globalization brings. However, many global companies, especially those in the developing world (like Ghana), have a shortage of such competent global managers leading to the Ghanaian economy not being fully integrated and engulfed in the current waves of globalization. This study is therefore focused on finding out the perceptions of senior managers in Ghanaian Global Companies on the term “Global Strategic Management” (i.e. thinking globally or not) and to make recommendations on the required managerial skills and training for the Ghanaian Global Manager. To achieve above stated objective, the study used mixed research methodology that is a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. In view of this, both questionnaires and interview were used in this study. The data collected from both questionnaires and interviews have been collated, summarized and analyzed. The study revealed that Ghanaian Senior Managers are aware and know almost every aspect of how effectively to deal with the intense global competition. However, they are not happy about the type of training they are receiving as it does not adequately equipped them to compete effectively on the global market. Additionally, the study unearthed that within the Ghanaian global companies, there are relatively small proportions of managers who have jobs that are globally integrative in nature and that Ghanaian Global Companies do not send their managers for international assignments to gain international experience. The study concludes that effective development of Global Managers in Ghanaian Global Companies is most likely to be achieved if all management resourcing and development activity is an integral part of strategic management and is linked to achieving challenging corporate goals. Based on the research findings, the study recommends the following human resource practice that can enable Ghanaian Global Companies to acquire, develop, train and sustain competent global managers for their global operations: that recruitment of staff should be based only on merit and experience (especially global exposure); and Ghanaian Global Companies have to develop and manage people who can think, lead and act from a broader or global perspective. This research could be the basis of further research into global strategic management. It will also help Ghanaian Global Companies to know the link between company strategies and management development practice in order to understand the basic pre-requisite for selection and development of global managers. Moreover, it can serve as a reference material for future researchers on the same or similar issue. Finally, it may also be useful for practitioners who may use the concept and approaches to describe their ongoing and future business activities
A thesis submitted to the Kwame Nkrumeh University of Science and Technology, School of Business in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Execute Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree programme, 2008