Juan Alcacer

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Unit: Strategy

Contact:

(617) 495-6338

Send Email

Juan Alcacer received his Ph.D. in International Business and Strategy and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan. He also holds an MBA in Finance and Economics from IESA. Before entering graduate school he worked as an associate at McKinsey & Co. in Latin America. Professor Alcacer’s research interests are in international strategies of firms in the telecommunications industry. His current research focuses primarily on the effect of competition on the location decisions of multinationals.

 

Featured Work

Publications

Books

Journal Articles

  1. Location Choices under Strategic Interactions

    The literature on location choices has mostly emphasized the impact of location and firm characteristics. However, most industries with a significant presence of multi-location firms are oligopolistic in nature, which suggests that strategic interaction among firms plays an important role in firms' decision-making processes. This paper explores how strategic interaction among competitors affects firms' geographic expansion across time and markets. Specifically, we build a model in which two firms that differ in their capabilities enter sequentially into two markets with different potentials for profit. The model is solved using game theory under three learning scenarios that capture the ability of a firm to transfer its capabilities across markets: no learning, local learning, and global learning. Three equilibrium strategies arise: accommodate, marginalize, and collocate. We identify how these strategies emerge depending on the tradeoff between the opportunity costs of absence (giving competitors a lead in a market) and the entrenchment benefits (the cost advantage firms develop through learning-by-doing when they enter early). Both the opportunity costs of absence and the entrenchment benefits vary according to initial relative firm capabilities, relative market profitability, and learning rates. Our model offers a comprehensive approach to understanding the drivers of firm location choices by modeling not only the impact of location and firm heterogeneity, but also the strategic interaction among firms.

    Keywords: Location strategies; multinational strategy; oligopolistic competition; game theory; firm heterogeneity; Geographic Location; Multinational Firms and Management; Balance and Stability; Decision Choices and Conditions; Game Theory;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Minyuan Zhao, and Cristian Dezso. "Location Choices under Strategic Interactions." Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming). View Details
  2. Location Strategies for Agglomeration Economies

    Geographically concentrated industry activity creates pools of skilled labor and specialized suppliers, and increases opportunities for knowledge spillovers. The strategic value of these agglomeration economies may vary by firm, depending upon the relative value of each economy, and upon firm and agglomeration economy traits. To better determine when a firm will be attracted to agglomeration economies, we develop a three-layer framework. The first layer assesses the relative importance of skilled labor, suppliers, and knowledge spillovers. The second layer considers whether firms can benefit from geographic concentration without co-locating. The final layer examines why some firms are more inclined to co-locate than others based upon firm and agglomeration economy traits. We test our framework on the U.S. location choices of new manufacturing entrants between 1985 and 1994 and find that firms are far more attracted to skilled labor and specialized suppliers than they are to potential knowledge spillovers, even in R&D intensive industries. We also find that leading firms will be more attracted to pools of labor, suppliers, and potential knowledge spillovers when their own contributions are less fungible, and cannot be easily leveraged for strategic advantage by proximate competitors.

    Keywords: Location strategies; Location choices; strategy; agglomeration economies; value creation; Strategy; Value Creation; Geographic Location; Industry Clusters; Microeconomics; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Wilbur Chung. "Location Strategies for Agglomeration Economies." Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming). View Details
  3. Learning by Supplying

    Learning processes lie at the heart of our understanding of how firms build capabilities to generate and sustain competitive advantage: learning by doing, learning by exporting, learning from competitors, users, and alliance partners. In this paper we focus attention on another locus of learning that has received less attention from academics despite popular interest: learning by supplying. Using a detailed panel dataset on supply relationships in the mobile telecommunications industry, we address the following questions: What factors contribute to a firm's ability to learn by supplying and building technological and market capabilities? Does it matter to whom the firm supplies? Is involvement in product design important, or is manufacturing the key locus of learning? How does a supplier's initial resource endowment play into the dynamic? Our empirical analysis yields interesting findings that have implications for theory and practice and that suggest new directions for future research.

    Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Organizations; Learning;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Joanne Oxley. "Learning by Supplying." Strategic Management Journal 35, no. 2 (February 2014): 204–223. View Details
  4. Firm Rivalry, Knowledge Accumulation, and MNE Location Choices

    The international business (IB) literature has mostly emphasized the impact of location and firm characteristics on location choices. However, industries with a significant presence of multinational enterprises (MNEs) are oligopolistic in nature, which suggests that rivalry among firms plays an important role in firms' dynamic decision-making processes. This paper explores how rivalry and differential knowledge accumulation among competitors affect MNEs' geographic expansion across time and markets. Specifically, we build a model in which two competing firms with different capabilities simultaneously decide a sequence of market entries. Following previous research, we allow the possibility that certain markets are closer (a better fit) to one firm than to the other, and that certain knowledge is more transferable across markets (less market specific). We then solve the model computationally and identify three equilibrium strategies—avoid, collocate, and stronger-chases-weaker—depending on the initial relative firm capabilities, market attractiveness, market–firm fit, and knowledge transferability. By explicitly incorporating firm rivalry across multiple markets, our model offers a comprehensive approach to understanding the drivers behind MNEs' sequential location choices and offers alternative explanations for some important empirical observations in IB, such as bunching and second-mover advantage in market entries.

    Keywords: Geographic Location; Competition; Multinational Firms and Management; Knowledge Acquisition; Game Theory; Global Strategy;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Cristian Deszo, and Minyuan Zhao. "Firm Rivalry, Knowledge Accumulation, and MNE Location Choices." Special Issue on The Multinational in Geographic Space Journal of International Business Studies 44, no. 5 (June–July 2013): 504–520. View Details
  5. Spanning the Institutional Abyss: The Intergovernmental Network and the Governance of Foreign Direct Investment

    Global economic transactions such as foreign direct investment must extend over an institutional abyss between the jurisdiction, and therefore protection, of the states involved. Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), whose members are states, represent an important attempt to span this abyss. IGOs are mandated variously to smooth economic transactions, facilitate global cooperation, and promote cultural contact and awareness. We use a network approach to demonstrate that the connections between two countries through joint-membership in the same IGOs are associated with a large positive influence on the foreign direct investment that flows between them. Moreover, we show that this effect occurs not only in the case of IGOs that focus on economic issues, but also on those with social and cultural mandates. This demonstrates that relational governance is important and feasible in the global context and for the most risky transactions. Finally we examine the interdependence between the IGO network and the domestic institutions of states. The interdependence between these global and domestic institutional forms is complex, with target-country democracy being a substitute for economic IGOs, but a complement for social and cultural IGOs.

    Keywords: Globalization; Market Transactions; Foreign Direct Investment; Government and Politics; Risk and Uncertainty; Networks; Culture; Complexity; Public Administration Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Paul Ingram. "Spanning the Institutional Abyss: The Intergovernmental Network and the Governance of Foreign Direct Investment." American Journal of Sociology 118, no. 4 (January, 2013). View Details
  6. Local R&D Strategies and Multi-location Firms: The Role of Internal Linkages

    This study looks at the role of firms' internal linkages in highly competitive technology clusters, where much of the world's R&D takes place. The leading players in these clusters are multilocation firms that organize and integrate knowledge across sites worldwide. Strong internal links across locations allow these firms to leverage knowledge for competitive advantage without risking critical knowledge outflow to competitors. We examine whether multi-location firms increase internal ties when they face appropriability risks from direct competitors. Our empirical analysis of the global semiconductor industry shows that when leading firms co-locate with direct market competitors, innovations tend to be quickly internalized and are more likely to involve collaboration across locations, particularly with inventors from the firm's primary R&D site. Our results suggest that R&D dynamics in clusters are heavily influenced by multi-location firms with innovative links across locations and that future research on technology innovation in clusters should account for these links.

    Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Technological Innovation; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Research and Development; Risk and Uncertainty; Competition; Competitive Advantage; Technology;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Minyuan Zhao. "Local R&D Strategies and Multi-location Firms: The Role of Internal Linkages." Management Science 58, no. 4 (April 2012): 734–753. View Details
  7. Applicant and Examiner Citations in U.S. Patents: An Overview and Analysis

    Prior art patent citations have become a popular measure of patent quality and knowledge flow between firms. Interpreting these measurements is complicated, in some cases, because prior art citations are added by patent examiners as well as by patent applicants. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) adopted new reporting procedures in 2001, making it possible to measure examiner and applicant citations separately for the first time. We analyzed prior art citations listed in all U.S. patents granted in 2001-2003 and found that examiners played a significant role in identifying prior art, adding 63% of citations on the average patent, and all citations on 40% of patents granted. An analysis of variance found that firm-specific variables explain most of the variation in examiner-citation shares. Using multivariate regression, we found that foreign applicants to the USPTO had the highest proportion of citations added by examiners. High-volume patent applicants had a greater proportion of examiner citations, and a substantial number of firms won patents without listing a single applicant citation. In terms of technology, we found higher examiner shares among patents in electronics, communications, and computer-related fields. Taken together, our findings suggest that firm-level patenting practices, particularly among high-volume applicants, have a strong influence on citation data and merit additional research.

    Keywords: Citations; Patents; Knowledge Sharing; Measurement and Metrics; Quality; United States;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Michelle Gittelman, and Bhaven Sampat. "Applicant and Examiner Citations in U.S. Patents: An Overview and Analysis." Research Policy 38, no. 2 (March 2009): 415–427. View Details
  8. Location Strategies and Knowledge Spillovers

    Given the importance of proximity for knowledge spillovers, we examine firms' location choices expecting differences in firms' strategies. Firms will locate to maximize their net spillovers as a function of locations' knowledge activity, their own capabilities, and competitors' anticipated actions. Using new entrants into the United States from 1985 to 1994, we find that firms favor locations with academic innovative activity. Other results highlight differences in firms' location strategies suggesting that firms consider not only gains from inward knowledge spillovers but also the possible cost of outward spillovers. While less technologically advanced firms favor locations with high levels of industrial innovative activity, technologically advanced firms choose only locations with high levels of academic activity and avoid locations with industrial activity to distance themselves from competitors.

    Keywords: Business Strategy; Corporate Strategy; For-Profit Firms; Knowledge Management; Research and Development; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Disruptive Innovation; Five Forces Framework; Cost Management; Technology; Competition; United States;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Wilbur Chung. "Location Strategies and Knowledge Spillovers." Management Science 53, no. 5 (May 2007): 760–776. View Details
  9. Patent Citations as a Measure of Knowledge Flows: The Influence of Examiner Citations

    Analysis of patent citations is a core methodology in the study of knowledge diffusion. However, citations made by patent examiners have not been separately reported, adding unknown noise to the data. We leverage a recent change in the reporting of patent data showing citations added by examiners. The magnitude is high: two-thirds of citations on the average patent are inserted by examiners. Furthermore, 40% of all patents have all citations added by examiners. We analyze the distribution of examiner and inventor citations with respect to self-citation, distance, technology overlap, and vintage. Results indicate that inferences about inventor knowledge using pooled citations may suffer from bias or overinflated significance levels.

    Keywords: Patents; Knowledge Sharing; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Technology; Prejudice and Bias; Change;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Michelle Gittelman. "Patent Citations as a Measure of Knowledge Flows: The Influence of Examiner Citations." Review of Economics and Statistics 88, no. 4 (November 2006): 774–779. View Details
  10. Location Choices across the Value Chain: How Activity and Capability Influence Collocation

    There has been a recent revival of interest in the geographic component of firm strategy. Recent research suggests that two opposing forces—competition costs and agglomeration benefits—determine whether firms collocate in a given geographic market. Unexplored is (1) whether these forces have different impacts on R&D, production, and sales subsidiaries, leading to diverse collocation levels, and (2) how firm capabilities impact collocation by increasing or decreasing competition costs and agglomeration benefits. I explore these questions using the worldwide location decisions of firms in the cellular handset industry. I find that production and sales subsidiaries are more geographically dispersed, and R&D subsidiaries are more concentrated, than a random distribution would predict. When distinguishing firms by their capabilities, I find that more-capable firms collocate less than less-capable firms, regardless of the activity performed.

    Keywords: Business Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Sales; Research and Development; Cost Accounting; Cost Management; Markets; Production; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Distribution; Cost vs Benefits; SWOT Analysis; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan. "Location Choices across the Value Chain: How Activity and Capability Influence Collocation." Management Science 52, no. 10 (October 2006): 1457–1471. View Details
  11. Increasing Exploration: Evidence from International Expansion

    While firms balance exploitation and exploration to maximize profits, specifics of how firms pursue this balance are scarce. We focus on how firms increase their exploration after obtaining greater capabilities and experience via sequential international expansion. Using Japanese manufacturing firms' investment into the US, we find that more experience and experience in locations thick with indigenous R&D activity leads firms to pursue greater exploration by adding their own R&D activity. Interestingly, the influence of location is differential; while firms that are more technically advanced are unaffected, less technically advanced firms tend to add their own R&D activity after gaining experience in locations with high indigenous R&D activity. The results suggest that technically lagging firms may leverage host country technical activity to strategically catch up with their more technically advanced competitors.

    Keywords: Price Bubble; Growth and Development Strategy; Growth Management; Industry Growth; Research and Development; Profit; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Disruptive Innovation; Five Forces Framework; SWOT Analysis; Duopoly and Oligopoly; Manufacturing Industry; Japan; United States;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Heather Berry, and Wilbur Chung. "Increasing Exploration: Evidence from International Expansion." Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (2005): D1–D6. View Details
  12. Knowledge Seeking and Location Choice of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States

    To what extent do firms go abroad to access technology available in other locations? This paper examines whether and when state technical capabilities attract foreign investment in manufacturing from 1987-1993. We find that on average state R&D intensity does not attract foreign direct investment. Most investing firms are in lower-tech industries and locate in low R&D intensity states, suggesting little interest in state technical capabilities. In contrast, we find that firms in research-intensive industries are more likely to locate in states with high R&D intensity. Foreign firms in the pharmaceutical industry value state R&D intensity the most, at a level twice that of firms in the semiconductor industry, and four times that of electronics firms. Interestingly, not only firms from technically lagging nations, but also some firms from technically leading nations are attracted to R&D intensive states. This suggests that beyond catching up, firms use knowledge-seeking investments also to source technical diversity.

    Keywords: Knowledge Acquisition; Foreign Direct Investment; Research and Development; Technology; Production; Geographic Location; United States;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Wilbur Chung. "Knowledge Seeking and Location Choice of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States." Management Science 48, no. 12 (December 2002): 1534–1554. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Are Licensing Markets Local? An Analysis of the Geography of Vertical Licensing Agreements in Bio-Pharmaceuticals

    As the value chain of the pharmaceutical industry disaggregates, upstream discovery is increasingly carried out by small research-specialized firms while downstream development, testing and marketing is conducted by global pharmaceutical firms. Licensing plays an important role in this emerging division of labor. Alcacer and his co-authors theorize that, similar to markets for upstream inputs such as scientific knowledge, proximity also may matter for licensing, which they conceptualize as downstream end markets for small biotechnology firms. They examine whether co-location affects the likelihood of vertical licensing transactions between biotechnology firms and global pharmaceutical firms. Discussions with industry executives indicate that large firms search globally for in-licensing opportunities and that licensing transactions should not be sensitive to the geographic locations of the transacting parties. However, an analysis of compounds developed by small biotechnology firms licensed to global pharmaceutical firms suggests that licensing transactions are more likely to occur between firms located in the same geographic area. The results point to the possibility that licensing markets are sensitive to the proximity of the partners, and that despite global search processes by multinationals in the pharmaceutical industry, licensing markets are localized.

    Keywords: Geographic Location; Local Range; Rights; Research and Development; Biotechnology Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, John Cantwell, and Michelle Gittelman. "Are Licensing Markets Local? An Analysis of the Geography of Vertical Licensing Agreements in Bio-Pharmaceuticals." In Location of Biopharmaceutical Activity, edited by Iain M. Cockburn and Matthew J. Slaughter. National Bureau of Economic Research, forthcoming. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Zooming In: A Practical Manual for Identifying Geographic Clusters

    This paper takes a close look at the reasons, procedures, and results of cluster identification methods. Despite being a popular research topic in strategy, economics, and sociology, geographic clusters are often studied with little consideration given to the underlying economic activities, the unique cluster boundaries, or the appropriate benchmark of economic concentration. Our goal is to increase awareness of the complexities behind cluster identification, and to provide concrete insights and methodologies applicable to various empirical settings. The organic cluster identification methodology we propose is especially useful when researchers work in global settings, where data available at different geographic units complicates comparisons across countries.

    Keywords: Industry Clusters; Complexity; Global Range;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Minyuan Zhao. "Zooming In: A Practical Manual for Identifying Geographic Clusters." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-042, November 2013. View Details
  2. Applying Random Coefficient Models to Strategy Research: Testing for Firm Heterogeneity, Predicting Firm-Specific Coefficients, and Estimating Strategy Trade-Offs

    Although Strategy research aims to understand how firm actions have differential effects on performance, most empirical research estimates the average effects of these actions across firms. This paper promotes Random Coefficients Models (RCMs) as an ideal empirical methodology to study firm heterogeneity in Strategy research. Specifically, we highlight and illustrate three main benefits that RCMs offer to Strategy researchers—testing firm heterogeneity, predicting firm-specific effects, and estimating trade-offs in strategy—using both synthetic and actual datasets. These examples showcase the potential uses of RCMs to test and build theory in Strategy, as well as to perform exploratory and definitive analyses of firm heterogeneity.

    Keywords: Strategy; Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Wilbur Chung, Ashton Hawk, and Goncalo Pacheco-de-Almeida. "Applying Random Coefficient Models to Strategy Research: Testing for Firm Heterogeneity, Predicting Firm-Specific Coefficients, and Estimating Strategy Trade-Offs." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-022, September 2013. View Details
  3. Spatial Organization of Firms and Location Choices through the Value Chain

    We explore the impact of geographically bounded, intra-firm linkages (internal agglomerations) and geographically bounded, inter-firm linkages (external agglomerations) on firms' location strategies. Using data from the Census Bureau's Longitudinal Business Database, we analyze the locations of new establishments of biopharmaceutical firms in the U.S. in 1993–2005. We consider all activities in the value chain and allow location choices to vary by R&D, manufacturing, and sales. Our findings suggest that internal agglomerations have a positive impact on location. The effects of internal agglomerations vary by activity, and they arise both within an activity (e.g. among plants) and across activities (e.g. between sales and manufacturing). Our results also suggest that previous estimates of the effect of external agglomerations may be overestimated because the existing literature abstracted from internal agglomerations.

    Keywords: Location choices; agglomeration economies; value chain; organization theory; Geographic Location; Industry Clusters; Customer Value and Value Chain; Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Mercedes Delgado. "Spatial Organization of Firms and Location Choices through the Value Chain." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-025, August 2012. (Revised August 2013.) View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Emirates Airline: Connecting the Unconnected

    Narrates the story of Emirates, an airline founded in 1985 in Dubai that by 2013 was among the three largest commercial airlines in the world. The case emphasizes how Emirates capitalized on its location—a small city–state strategically located to reach ¾ of the world population in a flight of less than eight hours—to build a fast-growing and profitable hub-based business model. The case details how Emirates' chooses new routes, technology, and equipment and manages its human resources, marketing and branding, and government relationships—together forming an internally consistent strategy that capitalizes on opportunities across geographic markets. Importantly, students are asked to evaluate if the airlines' strategy will be sustainable as Emirates faces technical and political challenges to expand and must compete with numerous new players from the Middle East.

    Keywords: competitive advantage; sustainable competitive advantage; Business Strategy; airlines; multinational; Location strategies; Geographic Location; Multinational Firms and Management; Air Transportation; Competitive Advantage; Business Strategy; Air Transportation Industry; Middle East; Dubai;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and John Clayton. "Emirates Airline: Connecting the Unconnected." Harvard Business School Case 714-432, January 2014. View Details
  2. Ford Asia Pacific & Africa: The E-coating Facility Decision in Gujarat, India (B)

    The case reveals that Ford decided to open its own e-coating plant in Gujarat, India, and details how the decision was made at different organizational levels.

    Keywords: foreign investment; organizational alignment; strategic decision making; Motivation and Incentives; Communication; Organizational Structure; Decision Making; Business Processes; Foreign Direct Investment; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Gujarat;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Nancy Hua Dai. "Ford Asia Pacific & Africa: The E-coating Facility Decision in Gujarat, India (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 914-015, January 2014. View Details
  3. Ford Asia Pacific & Africa: The E-coating Facility Decision in Gujarat, India (A)

    In April 2013, Ford Asia Pacific & Africa (FAPA) was examining its options for e-coating service metal parts for the Ford Customer Service Division in Sanand, Gujarat, India. Randy Creel, Director of Parts Supply & Logistics, FAPA, worked with his colleagues in the US, UK, China, and India to conduct analysis and develop three options: outsourcing e-coating to a third party in Sanand, outsourcing e-coating to a third-party in Chennai and transporting the parts to Sanand, or building a stand-alone facility in Sanand. Factors like cost, quality, speed, and risk needed to be considered for this decision which had impact on profitability and customer satisfaction. Which option should FAPA choose?

    Keywords: foreign investment; international business; global strategy; Location strategies; supply chain; Global Strategy; Supply Chain;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Nancy Hua Dai. "Ford Asia Pacific & Africa: The E-coating Facility Decision in Gujarat, India (A)." Harvard Business School Case 914-014, January 2014. (Revised March 2014.) View Details
  4. The Rise and Fall of Nokia

    In 2013, Nokia sold its Device and Services business to Microsoft for €5.4 billion. For decades Nokia had led the telecommunications (telecom) industry in handsets and networking. By the late 2000s, however, Nokia's position as market leader in mobile devices was threatened by competition from new lower-cost Asian manufacturers. Apple's 2007 release of its iPhone established an entire new category—the smartphone—immediately popular with users. What were Nokia's missteps over the years? What should Nokia have done differently?

    Keywords: Mobile phones; smartphone; telecommunications; wireless technology; emerging market; Technological Innovation; Competition; Emerging Markets; Mobile Technology; Wireless Technology; Telecommunications Industry; Asia;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Tarun Khanna, and Christine Snively. "The Rise and Fall of Nokia." Harvard Business School Case 714-428, January 2014. (Revised February 2014.) View Details
  5. The Munich Oktoberfest: From Local Tradition to Global Capitalism

    Oktoberfest, an annual festival held in Munich (Germany) for more than 200 years, has grown in recent decades into a hugely popular event that attracts 7 million visitors annually, a large proportion of which are foreign. In fact, Oktoberfest's global appeal is so strong that hundreds of copycat Oktoberfest events exist in cities as diverse as Cincinnati (U.S.), Bangalore (India), Beijing (China), and Blumenau (Brazil). The case provides information about the economic value Oktoberfest generates for its main players: the city of Munich, the breweries, the souvenir and merchandise stands, and the firms that provide rides. It then asks whether there are unexploited opportunities to capture more value from Oktoberfest globally.

    Keywords: Value Creation; Product Positioning; Marketing Channels; Global Strategy; Food and Beverage Industry; Ohio; Munich; Brazil; Bangalore; Beijing;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Christian Bettinger, and Andreas Philippi. "The Munich Oktoberfest: From Local Tradition to Global Capitalism." Harvard Business School Case 714-439, December 2013. (Revised February 2014.) View Details
  6. Walmart around the World

    After reaching the limits of its successful expansion in the United States in the early 1990s, Walmart sought growth opportunities in markets abroad. This case describes Walmart's attempts to replicate its successful U.S. business model in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Central America, China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, the U.K., and Africa. Students reflect on the mixed results of these ventures and identify elements in the company's location choices, times of entry, and modes of entry that may explain the outcomes observed. They then formulate a set of recommendations for Walmart to maximize its chances of success when the company expands into India in 2013.

    Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Success; Globalized Markets and Industries; Expansion; Market Entry and Exit; Failure; Retail Industry; Germany; China; Argentina; South Korea; Canada; Japan; Brazil; Africa; United Kingdom; United States; Mexico;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Abhishek Agrawal, and Harshit Vaish. "Walmart around the World." Harvard Business School Case 714-431, October 2013. (Revised December 2013.) View Details
  7. Intel: Strategic Decisions in Locating a New Assembly and Test Plant (A)

    In mid-2005, Intel is examining its options for where to locate its next assembly and test plant. On its short list of potential sites include locations in China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam. Each country has its own unique benefits and risks related to infrastructure, governance, education, business culture, intellectual property protection, labor markets, experience working with Western firms, and tax breaks and other incentives. Intel's General Manager for Assembly and Test, Brian Krzanich, has to consider all of these factors as well as Intel's criteria for its new facility's location and make his recommendation to the company's board of directors. Which country and location should Intel choose?

    Keywords: strategic positioning; Location choices; Location strategies; technology; Geographic Location; Global Strategy; Technology; Strategy; Technology Industry; United States; China; India; Thailand; Viet Nam;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Kerry Herman. "Intel: Strategic Decisions in Locating a New Assembly and Test Plant (A)." Harvard Business School Case 713-406, September 2012. (Revised December 2013.) View Details
  8. Intel: Strategic Decisions in Locating a New Assembly and Test Plant (B)

    In February 2006, Intel has selected the location for its new assembly and test plant. This case discusses why this location was chosen from the list of possibilities introduced in "Intel: Strategic Decisions in Locating a New Assembly and Test Plant (A)."

    Keywords: Location choices; Location strategies; strategy; technology; Geographic Location; Global Strategy; Technology; Technology Industry; United States; Viet Nam;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Kerry Herman. "Intel: Strategic Decisions in Locating a New Assembly and Test Plant (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 713-419, September 2012. (Revised December 2013.) View Details
  9. Intel: Strategic Decisions in Locating a New Assembly and Test Plant (A) and (B)

    The case is used in Harvard Business School's (HBS) elective course "Competing Globally" as the first case in the third module (see "Competing Globally: Course Note for Instructors," HBS No. 713-422). As the first case in the module, it introduces the framework to analyze individual location choices that weave into a location strategy that ultimately creates and sustains value globally. Specifically, Intel allows instructors to introduce a comprehensive framework to analyze location decisions, illustrate how to evaluate, rank and aggregate location traits to make a location choice that contributes to create and sustain value globally, identify the difference between location choice and location strategy, and explore the benefits and drawbacks of agglomeration economies that emerge from locating in clusters.

    Keywords: strategic planning; strategic positioning; Location choices; Location strategies; global strategy; Strategic Planning; Strategy; Global Strategy; Geographic Location; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcácer, Juan. "Intel: Strategic Decisions in Locating a New Assembly and Test Plant (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-445, October 2012. (Revised February 2014.) View Details
  10. HTC Corp. in 2012

    After 15 years of remarkable achievements, Taiwan-based HTC Corp. faced difficult times by 2012. CEO Peter Chou, who drove HTC's transformation from an unknown manufacturer of PDAs for other companies to a well-known global player in smartphones, faced an uncertain and complex environment. Apple's lead in the smartphone and tablet markets, the acquisition of Motorola by Google, the Microsoft-Nokia alliance, the rise of Samsung, and the extensive patent wars - each raised questions about how HTC could continue its upward trajectory. In a rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive market, what would a sustainable differentiation strategy look like for HTC? How could HTC, a historically innovative company, compete in the tablet market? And how could it weather - and mitigate - the patent wars?

    Keywords: corporate social responsibility; telecommunications; technological innovation; brand management; economies of scale and scope; market positioning; intellectual property management; Technological Innovation; Hardware; Competitive Strategy; Innovation and Invention; Patents; Product Positioning; Telecommunications Industry; Taiwan;

    Citation:

    Yoffie, David B., Juan Alcacer, and Renee Kim. "HTC Corp. in 2012." Harvard Business School Case 712-423, May 2012. (Revised September 2012.) View Details
  11. Emerging Nokia?

    By late 2009, Nokia was grappling with the decision of whether to recover its leading position in the high-profit developed markets, where they were losing market share to the likes of Apple and Samsung, or defend its market leadership in the low-margin, high-volume emerging markets. This case poses the following questions: Should Nokia stay the course, operating in both the developed and emerging markets, or should they forego one for the other? And what would this imply for the types of handsets and services they would need to offer?

    Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Emerging Markets; Industry Structures; Competitive Advantage; Corporate Strategy; Telecommunications Industry; Finland;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Tarun Khanna, Mary Furey, and Rakeen Mabud. "Emerging Nokia?" Harvard Business School Case 710-429, April 2010. (Revised May 2011.) View Details
  12. Nokia: The Burning Platform

    Overview on the state of Nokia since the “Emerging Nokia?” case was written.

    Keywords: Business Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Competitive Advantage; Marketing Strategy; Emerging Markets; Network Effects; Telecommunications Industry; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Tarun Khanna, and Mary Furey. "Nokia: The Burning Platform." Harvard Business School Case 711-514, May 2011. (Revised May 2011.) View Details
  13. The Globalization of the NFL

    By 2010, the National Football League (NFL) was still having trouble attracting both a global roster and fan base despite systemized attempts at internationalizing since 1989. Why? Was it simply a bad idea to try to export football, a sport that many considered uniquely American? Or was it a good idea that had been poorly executed?

    Keywords: Global Strategy; Sports; Failure; Sports Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Mary Furey. "The Globalization of the NFL." Harvard Business School Case 711-455, January 2011. (Revised October 2012.) View Details
  14. Vodafone in Japan (A)

    Despite a rough start in the Japanese telecom market, by late 2003, Vodafone seemed to have weathered the storm, largely based on the strength of their mobile phone unit. But was it simply the calm before the storm?

    Keywords: Business Subsidiaries; Global Strategy; Knowledge Acquisition; Adaptation; Diversification; Expansion; Telecommunications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Mary Furey, and Mayuka Yamazaki. "Vodafone in Japan (A)." Harvard Business School Case 711-464, December 2010. (Revised February 2012.) View Details
  15. Vodafone in Japan (B)

    By 2005, Vodafone Group was losing its footing in the sophisticated Japanese telecom market. What were they doing wrong? Should they cut their losses and leave Japan, or could they learn from mistakes and turn things around?

    Keywords: Business Subsidiaries; Profit; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Knowledge Acquisition; Market Entry and Exit; Operations; Adaptation; Diversification; Expansion; Telecommunications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Mary Furey, and Mayuka Yamazaki. "Vodafone in Japan (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 711-469, December 2010. (Revised January 2012.) View Details
  16. Vodafone in Japan (C)

    An update to Vodafone cases A and B, describing Softbank's acquisition of Vodafone and its performance in Japan.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Knowledge Acquisition; Performance; Motivation and Incentives; Adaptation; Diversification; Expansion; Telecommunications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Mary Furey, and Mayuka Yamazaki. "Vodafone in Japan (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 711-470, January 2011. View Details
  17. Vodafone Japan (A), (B) and (C) (TN)

    The series of three cases is used in Harvard Business School's (HBS) elective course "Competing Globally" as the second case in the first module (Why?: Strategies to create value globally) (See "Competing Globally: Course Note for Instructors", HBS 713-422). The module identifies three general strategies that create value through global operations: deploying, developing, and deepening. The Vodafone Japan cases illustrate the second strategy type: developing a new source of competitive advantage through arbitrage of technological and market conditions between Japan and the rest of the world. Specifically, the cases allow instructors to illustrate how developing strategies can create value globally and therefore motivate global expansion, emphasize the tension that exists when firms try deploy and develop strategies simultaneously, illustrate that a global strategy based on developing competitive advantages relies on differences across countries and explore under what circumstances firms can benefit from arbitrage opportunities.

    Keywords: telecommunications; technological innovation; technology strategy; strategy; operations strategy; Technology; Operations; Mobile Technology; Strategy; Telecommunications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan. "Vodafone Japan (A), (B) and (C) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-444, September 2012. (Revised March 2014.) View Details
  18. Vodafone's Position in the Wireless Telecom Industry in 2001

    Instructors may use the supplementary material "Vodafone's Position in the Wireless Telecom Industry in 2001" to demonstrate noticeable differences across countries in terms of: (1) WTP (suggested by the striking differences in ARPU); (2) payment methods (pre-paid vs. post-paid); and (3) the services consumers prefer (voice vs. data; SMS vs. voice). These differences suggest that operators may need higher-than-expected levels of adaptation to local markets.

    Keywords: telecommunications; Technology; Mobile Technology; Telecommunications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan. "Vodafone's Position in the Wireless Telecom Industry in 2001." Harvard Business School PowerPoint Supplement 713-437, October 2012. View Details
  19. Logoplaste: Global Growing Challenges

    In 2010, Logoplaste, a top 10 manufacturer of rigid plastic containers, was debating a more dramatic expansion strategy as a means to guarantee the company's continued success. The company, which began with a few plants in Portugal in the 1990s, now had 60 plants across five continents and was a valued partner to large multinational consumer goods companies, many of whom were pressuring Logoplaste to expand.

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Global Range; Global Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Expansion;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Anthony John Morrison Leitao. "Logoplaste: Global Growing Challenges." Harvard Business School Case 711-411, December 2010. (Revised February 2013.) View Details
  20. Logoplaste: Global Growing Challenges (TN)

    The case follows Logoplaste in its transformation from a small player in the plastic container industry in Portugal to a mid-sized global firm with operations in 11 countries. The case summarizes Logoplaste's history, with an emphasis on the milestones of its global expansion, and explains its unique business model. Logoplaste allows intstructors to: explore how deepening strategies create value globally and justify global expansion, evaluate the pros and cons of a specific deepening strategy, illustrate how a firm can differentiate its products & evaluate the pros and cons of different growth strategies in a global context.

    Keywords: R&D; innovation; strategy; competitive advantage; global strategy; operations strategy; Global Strategy; Competition; Operations; Strategy; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan. "Logoplaste: Global Growing Challenges (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-446, October 2012. (Revised February 2014.) View Details
  21. Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (A)

    The Finnish brewer Hartwall and the Swedish brewer Pripps had to decide how to react to the rapidly changing European political, economic, and business environment in 1989–1990.

    Keywords: Economics; Globalized Economies and Regions; Government and Politics; Competition; Corporate Strategy; Food and Beverage Industry; Finland; Sweden;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Rasmus Karl Gustaf Molander, and Rakeen Mabud. "Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (A)." Harvard Business School Case 710-430, March 2010. (Revised February 2013.) View Details
  22. Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (B)

    In 1991, Hartwall and Pripps made the decision to found Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH) and invest in the former USSR by buying Estonia's biggest brewery, Saku.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Investment; Globalized Economies and Regions; Competition; Corporate Strategy; Food and Beverage Industry; Estonia; Finland; Sweden;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, Rasmus Karl Gustaf Molander, and Rakeen Mabud. "Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 710-471, March 2010. (Revised February 2013.) View Details
  23. Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (A) and (B)

    The teaching plan to accompany "Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (A)," HBS No. 713-430; "Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (B)," HBS No. 713-471. It is divided into an introduction, followed by three discussion segments, and a final concluding module. Because the cases offer material to address issues such as motivation for globalization, timing of expansion, location choices and implementation of global strategy, instructors may need to pick a subset of these issues. Another option is to teach the cases in two sessions, the first covering the why, when and where sessions and the second focusing only on how.

    Keywords: strategic planning; strategic positioning; strategy; Location choices; Location strategies; globalization; global strategy; Globalized Markets and Industries; Strategic Planning; Strategy; Globalization; Global Strategy; Globalized Markets and Industries; Food and Beverage Industry; Sweden; Soviet Union;

    Citation:

    Alcácer, Juan. "Baltic Beverages Holding: Competing in a Globalizing World (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-461, October 2012. (Revised March 2014.) View Details
  24. The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?

    Soon after Robert Iger took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in late 2005, he turned his attention toward Pixar, the animation studio with which Disney had worked since 1991 and was responsible for producing hits such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Disney's own animated film business had been in decline since Jeffrey Katzenberg left to establish rival studio Dreamworks and the business relied on revenue from its partnership with Pixar to maintain performance. With the Co- Production Agreement between the two studios coming to a close in 2006, Pixar was looking to negotiate better terms with another distribution partner. Could Disney risk losing them?

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Animation Entertainment; Film Entertainment; Contracts; Distribution; Partners and Partnerships; Vertical Integration; Motion Pictures and Video Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, David J. Collis, and Mary Furey. "The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?" Harvard Business School Case 709-462, March 2009. (Revised January 2010.) View Details
  25. The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire? An Update

    This four-page update to the case, "The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?" details the Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Pixar, including deal terms, executive appointments, and operating guidelines for the two studios.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Managerial Roles; Negotiation Deal; Operations; Motion Pictures and Video Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, David J. Collis, and Mary Furey. "The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire? An Update." Harvard Business School Supplement 709-489, March 2009. (Revised January 2010.) View Details
  26. The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire? TN

    Teaching Note for 709462 and 709489.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Decision Making; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and David J. Collis. "The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire? TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 711-451, November 2010. View Details
  27. Monitor's Opportunities in India (A)

    The CEO of a strategy consulting firm must decide which of the firm's functions, if any, to move to India. In particular, he wonders whether business research--currently conducted by highly paid consultants in developed countries--can be conducted more efficiently and effectively from an Indian research center.

    Keywords: Developing Countries and Economies; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Business Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Competitive Advantage; Consulting Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Jan W. Rivkin. "Monitor's Opportunities in India (A)." Harvard Business School Case 708-482, February 2008. View Details
      1. DRUID Best Paper Award: Awarded Best Paper at the DRUID 2013 Conference in Barcelona, Spain, for "Spatial Organization of Firms: Location Choices through the Value Chain" (with Mercedes Delgado).

      2. Management Science Distinguished Service Award: Received the Meritorious Service Award from Management Science in 2013 for excellence in quality and timeliness of editorial work, in the role of Associate Editor.