ASB 4904/5 – Standardization/Adaptation in Global Value Chains


Bangor University


Applied Business

Module Code

ASB 4904/5
ASB 4904/5 - Standardization/Adaptation in Global Value Chains

a). BACKGROUND TO ASSIGNMENT.This assignment places you in the position of a manager in a company reviewing how it should respond to the opportunities & challenges of globalization – specifically to the question of standardization/adaptation when considering entering a new geography.

This will give you an insight to the questions facing Multinational Enterprises of the kind that many of you aspire to work for.

Your task is to use the Global Value Chain (GVC) framework to critically evaluate the operational aspects that may need to be adjusted should the company expand to another country – and what operational aspects could be standardised.

The principal GVC elements are acquisition of resources and their inbound logistics/movement; a conversion or production operation/process; outbound logistics movement of the finished product or parts; the marketing of the product to potential customers (both inside the target country, and back in the company’s headquarters/country of origin); the nature of services that may be required to support marketing of the product.

The underpinning secondary GVC elements are procurement, technology development, human resource management, firm infrastructure.

In the module I have emphasised that there is a distinction between International Trade &International Business – international trade essentially measures flows of goods and services in and out of countries, whereas international business considers the behaviour of the range of stakeholders that influence/explain such flows. Therefore you should ensure that in your report you focus on international aspects that influence behaviour – e.g. differences in national cultures between countries.

b). The above paragraph about behaviour/national culture has an influence on my recommendations about CHOOSING A COMPANY TO RESEARCH & ANALYSE for this assessment:-

  1. First consider A MANUFACTURING COMPANY that you would like to analyse – it should be a large company so that there is a lot of information in the public domain, and it already has ambitions as an MNE – i.e. operating in multiple nations.As the intangible nature of service offerings increases the challenge for companies wishing to operate overseas& for you to collect relevant information, you must choose a company which manufactures physical products/goods. Select from cars, clothing, food, &household electrical items.

You may not use a company analysed in lectures for this Module.

The company’s Annual Report and other information on the company’s own website will be sources of information, as well as third party commentaries on the Company, including reputable media sources.

  1. Second determine the country of origin/headquarters country for the firm in (1) above.
  2. Thirdlycheck that Hofstede’s model of National Cultural Values includes values for Country in (b2) above.


  1. Finally select a country that the company may wish to move toas a manufacturing location & separately to sell to customers in that country. Check that this ‘destination’ country also is represented in Hofstede’s model of cultural values.


Write a report of 4 sections using the indicated word lengths for guidance, incorporating subheadings to clearly signpost the content of your material.

The following section is intended to provide additional guidance on what content is required to respond effectively to the challenge of this assignment.

i). Concisely introduce the company’s activities– the products that it offers, the locations where it operates, and examples of the range of transaction modes it uses – you may need to do this by interpreting the nature of the subsidiaries it operates (wholly-owned, joint ventures, agents, etc).

What ‘inputs’/factors does the company require? Place the company on the Global Integration/ Local responsiveness framework – this will give you a first insight to the standardization/adaptation issue.                                                    (600 words)

ii). Evaluate the potential for manufacturing in the country you have chosen (in b4) above.

Critically assess the operational changes that may be needed to Three of the principal elements of the  GVC indicated in Section (a) above.


discuss changes that maybe required to TWO of the underpinning secondary GVC elements– again Section (a) above.

Consider the principal drivers to expand locations of production – use the forces of globalization (maximum 3 of 7).

Refer, for a manufacturing activity, to the implications of the differences between the national cultures of the two countries.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (900 words)

iii). Then assess the potential for selling the product to customers in your chosen country again using THREE of the principal GVC elements , & TWO of the underpinning secondary GVC elements.

Also use the forces of globalization (maximum 3 of 7) to determine the principal drivers to expand to another country to increase sales, referring to the implications of the differences between the national cultures of the two countries.

Do not merely repeat what you have written for (ii) above as the factors are most likely to be different.

(900 words)

d). Conclude your report by critically discussing why a government in a host country might wish to attract your chosen company, & summarize your recommendations to the company regarding standardization/adaptation.                                                             (600 words)

Write a report of three thousand words (four sections)guided by the word lengths indicated above – use subheadings to clearly signpost content. It will be marked as a single integrated report.

Use Appendices for data about the company, and the main body of your report for analyzing, interpreting, evaluating that data. Appendices are not included in the word count.

You must use industry and academic sources.Acknowledge all sources in a Reference List,using the Harvard Referencing System.