Intel's global competitive advantage is based on attaining technological leadership and preferred component supplier status on a global basis. For a midsize company, it may mean setting up a host of small foreign subsidiaries and forging numerous alliances. For still others, it may mean something entirely different (De Kluyver & Pearce, 2006). Thus, although it is tempting to think of global strategy in universal terms, globalization is a highly company-and industry-specific issue. It forces a company to rethink its strategic intent, global architecture, core competencies, and entire current product and service mix. For many companies, the outcome demands dramatic changes in the way they do business-with whom, how, and why.
In the study of management, it is already a common knowledge that it involves four basic functions: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling resources (land, labour, capital, and information) to efficiently reach a company's goals. Controlling is the fourth basic managerial function. In management, controlling means monitoring a firm's progress toward meeting its organizational goals and objectives, resetting the course if goals or objectives change in response to shifting conditions, and correcting deviations if goals or objectives are not being attained.
Managers should strive to maintain a high level of quality-a measure of how closely goods or services conform to predetermined standards and customer expectations. Many firms control for quality through a four-step cycle that involves all levels of management and all employees. In the first step, top managers set standards, or criteria for measuring the performance of the organization as a whole. At the same time, middle and first-line managers set departmental quality standards so they can meet or exceed company standards. Establishing control standards is closely tied to the planning function and depends on information supplied by employees, customers, and other external sources.
In the second step of the control cycle, managers assess performance, using both quantitative (specific, numerical) and qualitative (subjective) performance measures. In the third step, managers compare performance with the established standards and search for the cause of any discrepancies. If the performance falls short of standards, the fourth step is to take corrective action, which may be done by either adjusting performance or re-evaluating the standards. If performance meets or exceeds standards, no corrective action is taken.
To complement the changing organizational structures in a multinational enterprise (MNE), managers should learn to design efficient coordinating and reporting systems to ensure that actual performance conforms to expected organisational standards and goals. The challenge is to coordinate far-flung operations in vastly different environments with various work processes, rules, and economic, political, legal, and cultural norms. The feedback from the control process and the information systems should signal any necessary change in strategy, structure, or operations in a timely manner. Often, the strategy, the coordinating processes, or both, need to