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Strategic management analyzes the major initiatives taken by a company's top management on behalf of owners, involving resources and performance in internal and external environments. It entails specifying the organization's mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs, which are designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating resources to implement the policies and plans, projects and programs. A balanced scorecard is often used to evaluate the overall performance of the business and its progress towards objectives. Recent studies and leading management theorists have advocated that strategy needs to start with stakeholders expectations and use a modified balanced scorecard which includes all stakeholders.
Strategic management is a level of managerial activity below setting goals and above tactics. Strategic management provides overall direction to the enterprise and is closely related to the field of Organization Studies. In the field of business administration it is useful to talk about "strategic consistency" between the organization and its environment or "strategic consistency." According to Arieu "there is strategic consistency when the actions of an organization are consistent with the expectations of management, and these in turn are with the market and the context."
In business, horizontal integration is a strategy where a company creates or acquires production units for outputs which are alike - either complementary or competitive. One example would be when a company acquires competitors in the same industry doing the same stage of production. Another example is the management of a group of products which are alike, yet at different price points, complexities, and qualities. This strategy may reduce competition and increase market share by using economies of scale. For example, a car manufacturer acquiring its competitor who does exactly the same thing.
Horizontal integration is the opposite to vertical integration, where companies integrate multiple stages of production of a small number of production units.
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product (GDP). While international trade has been present throughout much of history (see Silk Road, Amber Road), its economic, social, and political importance has been on the rise in recent centuries.
Industrialization, advanced in technology transportation, globalization, multinational corporations, and outsourcing are all having a major impact on the international trade system. Increasing international trade is crucial to the continuance of globalization. Without international trade, nations would be limited to the goods and services produced within their own borders.