International management strategy.
Graduate and upper undergraduate classes.
This case deals with an information technology (IT) outsourcing company based in Egypt which has ventured into the international market right from the start without establishing itself first in the local market. Its record of success was due largely to a group of young Egyptian entrepreneurs with an international orientation. Their strongly held values were translated into an organizational culture that was manifested in the company's relationships with its clients, whether multinational companies or regional governments. This mutual trust has generated work through referrals and has saved the company the need, at least initially, to adopt a proactive marketing strategy. In addition to culture the company's structure has shown considerable agility in dealing with the unexpected demands from clients through developing strong functional departments supported by numerous cross-functional teams. The case also presents the development of the human resource function which is considered the backbone of IT outsourcing companies.
Expected learning outcomes
Students are expected to learn the following: internationalization of business start ups in developing nations can take place even in the face of limitations of the local markets; the importance of leadership and culture in fostering trusting relationships with clients; the need to constantly reconfigure resources to meet challenges of competition and the needs of clients; the viability of a defensive strategy for newly established companies if supplemented by trusting relationships with clients; and the role of an evolving structure to fit the growth stages of the company.
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